From CampusBird Blog

On the surface, interactive campus maps may seem like straightforward admissions and marketing tools: enabling you to profile the beauty and features of your campus to potential students who may not be able visit in person (or who may be vetting their short-list of schools). But apply some creativity, and the possibilities are almost limitless. Don’t believe us?

Here are 3 creative uses of interactive campus maps from some CampusBird clients.

1) Highlight Sustainability

For many college campuses, increasing sustainability is not just an ecologically smart decision. It also serves as a point of pride for students, alumni, parents and staff, showing that the university or college cares about its environment and surroundings. As a result, an increasing number of U.S. higher education institutions are ‘going green.

But how do you highlight your efforts in achieving increased sustainability? One Vermont college went a unique route, developing an interactive map category to highlight its green efforts. The campus map of Middlebury College includes an entire section on ‘Green Initiatives,’ which highlights efforts that range from a recycling center and a self-reliant solar house all the way to a solar farm.

Click on the individual initiatives and you can learn more about their origins and current impact on both the college community and its surroundings. Many of the buildings originated from and are utilized by current students, aiding in their education as well. With an interactive campus map, Middlebury College showcases both its commitment to students and the environment.

2) Invite Nostalgia

For any university, a connection with its alumni is crucial in a variety of ways. Alumni donations make up a large part of the institution’s budget, while former students also act as important word-of-mouth marketers to prospective students within their circles.

Highlighting the individual successes of alumni entices students toward specific institutions and majors, while keeping in touch with the same individuals means more opportunities for internship and job networking. But all that is only possible if you keep your alumni engaged and your institution top of mind, which is what one Pennsylvania University did with its campus map.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a public institution with more than 100,000 alumni, found a use for its interactive map as a “Then and Now Tour,” inviting alumni to walk down memory lane around the campus with a virtual tour. Nineteenth century photographs contrast with modern counterparts to invite nostalgia and show just how far the university has come since its founding in 1875.

3) Demonstrate Global Reach

Who said an interactive campus map had to end at your campus border? Several of our clients use CampusBird’s features to show the greater region and local highlights, helping out-of-state and international students gain a better understanding of the community into which they will be welcomed.

But one school takes that concept even further. The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College included a “Tuck in the World” section in its interactive campus map, showing the global reach of both the school and its students.

The tour highlights initiatives like the school’s Global Insights Expeditions, weeklong immersive courses that allow students to study the culture, business environment, and government of countries ranging from Brazil to Armenia. Other highlighted features include consulting satellite centers, popular study abroad locations, as well as international alumni clubs and admissions event. A few clicks through the tour and you will be impressed by the school’s global reach.

While it’s true that interactive campus maps support marketing and admissions – helping future students explore your campus without having to travel.

But with a bit of creative thinking, your map can be used to create a powerful experience.  The above are just a few examples of how schools have used CampusBird’s interactive map and virtual tour capabilities to highlight their strengths and meet the needs of students.