Union College's Historic Nott Memorial

3 Reasons an Interactive Campus Map is Critical for New Students

It is that time of year again. Many people in the US associate this time of year with the start of football season, both NFL and college football. But it also means it is the start of the new school year, and just as every year it means there are a large percentage of students who are attending a college or university for the first time. For many this is the most time they have spent on campus and probably don’t know their way around their new home.

This time last year we were sharing a report that sophomores were telling freshman to learn campus through an interactive map. That blog article is buried under a year’s worth of great content at this point, but let’s quickly looks at three reasons you should have an interactive campus map ready for new students.

1. Find Their Classrooms

Forgetting the fact that those new students have to find their new dorm, if they live on campus, they also need to be able to find their classrooms. It is true that many will ask other students but even that doesn’t tell them what the building looks like or show them what other landmarks they will be walking by on their way to class. Depending on the size and layout of your campus, finding new buildings can be a very intimidating process. An interactive map gives them a quick and easy reference point that they can also take with them on their mobile phones.

2. Discover Food Options

Just because that new student purchased a meal plan doesn’t mean they have a clue where or how to use it. Step one is figuring out what the food options are and finding them on campus. An interactive map can easily lay these options out. Also, depending on how you categorize your map you could make it very easy for them to only display the layer that shows food options. HINT: Our Interactive Mapping Platform allows you to do this or even display a map with only this layer of food options displayed.

AUC Egypt Food Options

Food Options on the American University in Cairo – Egypt Campus

3. Learn About the History of Campus

A campus map makes a great anchor point for many things including telling the history of your campus. Simply put, your college campus is your single most marketable feature. There are unique elements to it. Every college or university campus has specific historical or cultural elements that make it unique and give reference points when telling the greatest stories of your school. An interactive map allows you to easily point out these locations or facts to all of your audiences in an organized fashion.

Union College's Historic Nott Memorial

Union College’s Historic Nott Memorial

The Takeaway

At this point you probably get the picture of why this web feature is so critical for first time students. It would be easy to keep listing more critical reasons why the interactive map helps a new student get acclimated and quickly get up to speed with their new surroundings. We’ve talked countless times about the value of an interactive map for prospective students, but it’s very important to remember that isn’t the only audience who would find this web feature valuable.

At this point it’s probably too late to start an interactive campus map project for the fall semester, but remember you have new students starting every semester. There will be a new wave of students starting in January and now is the perfect time to begin this project as you prepare for them. Maybe we can help!

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