Know Your Audience: When To Use a 2D vs 3D Campus Map

In today’s global market-place, consumers use the internet to find what they’re looking for regardless of their location. This especially rings true in higher education and among its audience.

More and more college-ready students visit schools with their fingertips rather than by taking a campus tour. Campus visitors depend on the campus website for up-to-date and detailed information. Elected fellows, visiting researchers, and alumni also make up your web audience. They all expect information about your institution in a few clicks, and this almost always includes a visit to the campus map web page.

For instance, for admission personnel looking to highlight their institution’s historic buildings, popular landmarks, and surroundings to attract prospective students, a 3D map achieves this goal. 3D maps are also ideal for viewers who prefer using visual markers to locate buildings instead of street names and numbers. Often referred to as, oblique, birds-eye, or pictorial, 3D maps are becoming the optimal choice for colleges and universities to showcase their campus online.

By definition, a 2D campus map is two dimensional. These maps result in a flat or traditional representation of your campus, similar to a fold-out map. 2D campus maps are commonly called overhead maps and are ideal for viewers who navigate areas using street names and numbers. 2D campus maps are popular among facilities management and public safety personnel.

There are several similarities between 2D and 3D campus maps.

  • Both show building and land markers on the grounds of your institution.
  • Both color-code facilities.
  • Both use numbers or letters to designate buildings and land markers.
  • Both use high definition graphics and show where buildings and markers are located on the grounds of your institution.
  • Both provide clients with a variety of map styles.

There are also differences between 2D and 3D campus maps.

  • 3D campus maps depict the length, width, and height of campus facilities and landmarks.
  • 3D campus maps can be illustrated in vector style or a combination of vector and real photographic images. This combination is called photo-realistic. Viewers get an authentic sense of the campus when real images are incorporated into the 3D map.
  • 3D campus maps feature a 360 degree representation of your institution. Online viewers can then take a virtual tour of your college or university.
  • 3D campus maps are designed in three ways called vector, hand-rendered, and raster.
  • 3D campus maps cost more than 2D campus maps for the additional features.

It is important that you know your target audience. This will help college and university personnel determine the best campus map for your institution.

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