Interactive Map of Higher Education Spending Cuts

Earlier this week the Chronicle of Higher Education gave us an interesting interactive map on Higher Education Spending Cuts by States.  The data from this map is provided by new data from the University of Washington.  Most states have significantly cut spending and that is quite apparent on the map.  I bring up this important issue for two very significant reasons.  First, it is a good example of an interactive map with relevant data for our industry and second, with spending cuts we have to be much smarter about how we spend our money.

Interactive Map of Higher Education Spending Cuts

This map is not much different than the hundreds of maps I’ve seen that pull U.S. data and display it in a state by state comparison. But what does stand out is the interesting layout to find out more information on how to use the map.  In the top right-hand corner is a question mark, and when you scroll over it, it displays simple 1,2,3 instructions on exactly how to drill into the valuable data on the map and get comparison data from different steps.  This interesting approach is a little bit different, and most maps we see are intuitive enough to not need instructions.  Although you could understand how to gather information in this interface, this extra help allows you to drill a little deeper and pull state by state comparisons that aren’t instantly obvious.

Interactive Map Instructions

So I mentioned that data like this shows us how important it is to spend money wisely, but it is also another opportunity to state my case on why an interactive campus map is a vital piece of your institute’s website for recruitment reasons.

From a recruitment standpoint an interactive map allows prospective students to get a taste of a campus visit without having to drive potentially hundreds or thousands of miles to explore your campus in a guided tour.  With rising energy and transportation costs it’s simply not realistic to tour as many universities as students have in previous years.  A compelling campus tour helps prospective students prioritize your school and makes for more committed visits when they do come.

As compelling as an interactive map is to an institution’s website, the development costs and, in some cases, simply having a developer capable of creating the map can put it out of reach of many institutions.  Outsourcing the whole project costs $10,000 as a base price and goes up from there.  With outsourcing, don’t even ask for the ability to change things down the road because that will cost additional development time.  I’m not saying nuCloud is the first to tackle these issues, but in very cost conscious times it is important to know all the hidden costs.

You can read more information about this data in the University of Washington PDF brief off their website.

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3 comments

  • Bare Herbert September 17, 2010  

    Good read, thank you so much for posting. A little more details would be even better.

  • Tanika Mastrocola November 1, 2010  

    interesting post, keep it up