Towson University launches interactive map

New buildings and structures may be springing up seemingly overnight, but finding one’s way around campus has never been easier, due to TU’s newly-launched interactive campus map.

TU’s Design Center, which initiated the year-long project, provided graphics, photographs and links placed over a base Google Maps application developed by the geography department’s Geospatial Research and Education Lab.

In contrast to TU’s previous online maps, users can now reposition the map to see beyond campus borders. The map also allows users to customize what they view. One can zoom in and out around campus buildings and parking facilities through the default “Towson” view, or convert the map to a conventional Google street map, street map with terrain or hybrid (imagery with street names) view.

Users can also generate specific markers for academic and administration buildings, residence and dining buildings, permit parking, visitor parking, accessible parking, TU shuttle stops, MTA bus stops, or any combination thereof. The transportation markers include links offering a real time prediction of when the next bus will be arriving, along with printable schedules.

By clicking on the polygons comprising the campus buildings and parking structures, users open information windows which contain the building’s name, exterior (and sometimes interior) views, and links to other important sources of information, such as the Web sites of academic departments located within. The information window also allows users to generate directions to or from that structure, or to send a geographic-specific URL that can be used elsewhere. The map also provides drop-down menus for searching for a specific building or parking facility by name.

“Changes on campus are constant,” says Rick Pallansch, director of the Design Center, “so printing out new maps continuously is not cost effective.

“Thanks to the Geospatial Research and Education Lab’s Google Maps application, we can now update the campus map quickly and easily, as well as provide customizable mapping information.”

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