Get Where You’re Going

Today marks the start of something new and exciting: interactive maps of campus and other Cornell-related sites.

Using Google’s maps API, we now offer a dynamic view of the Cornell campus and its environs, as well as off-campus locations such as Geneva, New York City, Qatar, and Arecibo. In addition to the usual Google maps features such as zooming, panning, alternative views, and integrated driving directions, the new maps offer various overlays for quickly locating dining halls, cafes, libraries, bus stops, public parking, etc.

Furthermore, a search box and location list allow multiple ways to find specific buildings, features, offices, departments, and other points of interest. Enter specific building names, organization names, or concepts such as “movies” to learn where on campus they can be found. When selecting a given building, the map not only shifts and zooms to center a location in context, but also provides a text bubble showing (and linking) what departments or other organizations are found there (where relevant). For campus sites, a choice of driving directions is provided to the exact location, to the nearest metered parking, or to the nearest information booth.

For anyone who might want to show people a particular location, the new maps page accepts a URL parameter, which makes it possible to link a building’s name in a web page and have a result show an exact location on campus. To link a location, simply append “?loc=” and the name of the destination to the map’s URL. When linking in, the map will center on the building and fetch a list of organizational units found within it. In the near future it will be possible to specify other parameters such as map zoom and visible overlays. Full specifications will be published and linked at a later time.

The new maps will remain officially in beta mode while their effectiveness is analyzed, so changes may be made without warning. But we believe that their added functionality merits public access even if they’re not yet perfect. We appreciate comments on all aspects of the new maps and look forward to making them as useful as possible.

See the new maps at http://www.cornell.edu/maps/interactive.cfm and enjoy!

Ken Stuart
CIT Integrated Web Services for the Office of Web Communications

PS. A preview of the new campus virtual tour can be seen by clicking on the Virtual Tour Nodes overlay option. QuickTime will be needed to view these full-screen, high-resolution immersive panoramas.