UOregon app at top of mapping world
The latest version of the university’s official iPhone app takes mobile mapping to levels matched by few if any in the world, guiding users through the stacks of the state’s largest research library.
The UOregon app, built by students and staff in the InfoGraphics Lab in the Department of Geography in conjunction with the Office of Web Communications, pushes the limits of existing technology by allowing users not only to search the UO Libraries catalog, but also in most cases to map the search result to the precise location of the book stack in Knight Library.
“The UO is way out in front on this,” says Ken Kato, who heads the lab's mobile efforts. “We Ducks should have some serious bragging rights in this arena. We haven’t been able to find anybody else -- university or otherwise -- doing quite what we’re doing, leveraging room-level Geographic Information System data and maps to deliver real-time, real-space interior mobile mapping.”
Although Knight Library boasts the only interior map in the app, there’s tremendous potential for applying the interior mapping technology elsewhere, Kato says.
"This is only the tip of the iceberg -- a proof of concept if you will," he says. "We can deliver room-level mobile mapping and location services for any building on campus, with the data already in our system. Where we go from here is pretty exciting."
While UOregon’s functionality has always been map-driven, this year’s app also features special Week of Welcome functionality, showcasing events, to-dos, and of course, maps. This version of the app features most of the same functionality as the original version, including the ability to search and map any room on campus as well as routing between spots on campus along a walking network. Their innovative mobile mapping work on the first version of the app garnered an international award for the lab.
In addition to UO news headlines, public events, emergency information, the UO’s online find people directory, and social media links, the latest version of UOregon also offers new and specialized tours of campus.
Individual walking tours showcase sustainability efforts, trees, artwork and historic buildings with photos and text.
Videos featuring UO Student Ambassadors – the same students who give the official UO walking tours every day – highlight the iPhone’s version of the campus tour.
Here's a video from the tour. (Story continues below.)
If you’re on campus, the app will walk you through the tour stops. If you’re not on campus, you can still experience the UO in time and space by investigating individual tour stops on the campus map.
Beyond functionality, part of what makes the app special is that so many different students from different disciplines on campus combine with lab faculty and staffers to produce it.
“You want to develop iPhone apps? Interested in the intersection of mobile and spatial? UO Geography is the place to be,” Kato says. “We're eager to take these exciting innovations from our lab to the classroom.”