Map of the Week: University of Washington Campus Map
Why we like it: A beautiful use of interactive custom tiles, custom info windows, and the Google Directions API for embedded walk/bike/drive directions. A great example of a highly customized Google Map.
The beginning of May marks the start of college graduation in many places around the world. When the day comes for long awaited college graduation ceremonies, finding the events on campus can be daunting for visiting family and friends. Just in time for spring graduation ceremonies, comes this great Google Map from the University of Washington. For a large school like the University of Washington that occupies over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square feet of space, a good map is a must to help visitors and students alike find their way around.
What sets this map apart is the high level of customization, most notably the well designed, custom interactive tiles that highlight university buildings and points of interest. University buildings stand-out from the map in deep purple and display a custom InfoWindow with additional information when you click on them. For sharing convenience, each building has its shortened url.
Overall the map looks great responds quickly as you search around campus. Embedded into the map are walking/biking/driving directions that allows users to route in between buildings and point of interest.
Just in case you won’t be visiting the University of Washington in the near future, here are some other campus maps worth checking out: Northeastern University, UCSD Bus Map, and Universidad de Murcia. Also, the Google Developers Showcase has this and many more campus maps worth checking out.
The Bing Maps Platform from Microsoft enables organizations to easily and cost-effectively deliver geospatial content to the customers and businesses they serve. Not only does this optimize existing investments in GIS and imagery services, it allows organizations to save money using Bing Maps by making strong connections with customers and exposing relevant content easily on a map from Bing.
Register today to attend a webcast and learn more. Topics include:
What’s New in the Bing Maps Platform? | February 16, 2012, 2pm Eastern time, 60-minutes
Attend this session for an overview of the latest capabilities in the Bing Maps Platform. You’ll learn the latest on the Bing Maps Imagery program, how to view the meta data and other features in the platform including the best portal to see the latest new imagery sets.
Using the BingMapsPortal.com and keys with Bing Maps Platform | March 15, 2012, 2pm Eastern time, 60-minutes
Attend this session and learn how to use the bingmapsportal.com, tips for using/hiding your Bing Maps key and other helpful development hints.
Bing Maps Spatial Data Services | April 19, 2012, 2pm Eastern time, 60-minutes
Attend this session and learn how to take advantage of the Bing Maps Spatial Data Services included with the Bing Maps Platform for data hosting and findnearby/bound box queries.
Places and similar products have slowly been moving towards becoming a transaction environment. Last November Google rolled out, on a limited basis, a hotel booking feature. In December, Bing introduced a restaurant reservation system on their Place page equivalent. This spring when Google added rich snippet events to the Places page, they integrated the ability to easily add those events to a user’s personal calendar.
On Monday Google rolled out appointment slots for Calendars. This feature allows you to not only publicly make your appointment slots visible to the others to see but also allows other Google Calendar users to book a segment of your time. BusinessInsider pointed out that the feature will very likely be a big hit with students looking to schedule a meeting with a teacher.
But as reader @brazil_83 pointed out to me that is likely just the beginning. He noted that it “seems like Google [is] getting close to providing scheduling for more complex activ: spa, golf, restos – anything social”.
Clearly this appointment slot feature is a critical piece of infrastructure. When viewed in light of the Places hotel bookings and the event/G calendar integration features, this puts Google one fairly short step away from adding an appointment feature on your Places page for a whole raft of business related activities from massages to scheduling your dish washer repair.
Every time a consumer touches a Place page is an opportunity for Google to insert themselves in the local sales process. This new capability, when (if?) added to Places, is one that arguably could remove friction in the local buying process, increase Google’s supply of local (time) inventory information and provide a perfect nexus for additional revenue for Google.