Seniors Give Back with New Campus Map

A group project from the Information Technology & Systems (ITS) program’s graduating class gives back to UW Tacoma in a big, virtual way. Seniors of the program are designing an interactive campus map that better serves students. “Being able to find resources in general is the underlying foundation of the project,” said Christopher Martinez, part of the five member team.

They decided to revamp the existing map for different reasons, like making navigation easier for students, and they want to give back to the campus. “The need was there but nobody ever explored it,” said Martinez, explaining how the current map doesn’t provide enough information. Joseph Stout, who worked on the design of the map, believes it will benefit the campus in the future.  “The campus is becoming larger every year and it just makes sense to have something as competitive as the Seattle map to make it easier for students to find their buildings.”

The map will be based on the idea of UW Seattle’s, which is highly interactive. Long Pham focused on styling aspects for the project. He said the group took the pros and cons of Seattle’s map into account, “you can click [on buildings of UW Seattle] and get more information, but what we found was lacking and what we wanted to improve on was location services. We want to be able to have a student click on this building and we will have their location relative to where the building is and be able to give a walking direction of where they are headed.”

Pinpointing student locations on campus will provide a detailed path to their destination, and will use Google Map architecture.

A prototype for the IT department, the finished product will also involve Campus Safety in potential additions. Brainstormed ideas include being able to identify the location of potential gunmen on campus, as well as adding event information and other updates.

For Pham, the opportunity to make a long lasting impact on campus is a satisfying way to depart, “This project shows all the skills we’ve learned through the ITS program. When we started it was new, so we weren’t sure what the program was producing. We all have jobs right now. It’s a pretty good program with a lot of interaction and I know that’s lacking from a lot of other schools. Gaining experience while going to school is very valuable.”

Stout agrees, saying that “looking for something to give back” to the school where they earned their degrees is gratifying.  Martinez said that the project, which will be finished in about four weeks, will hopefully improve navigation and be the “foundation or framework of what is to come.”


Photo coutresy of Christopher Martinez