Skip to Page Level NavigationSkip to Page ContentSkip to Page Contact Information
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Print this Page

New map of Miami Middletown pushes seamless technological culture

Middletown interactive map

A new interactive web map of Miami Middletown highlights buildings, offices and services.

written by Trevor Jordan, university news and communications intern

Recent Miami University graduate Aaron Smigielski and Ziying Jiang, assistant professor of geography, collaborated over three semesters to develop an interactive web-based map of Miami Middletown with hopes of helping students, faculty and staff locate and utilize campus services more effectively.

From parking spaces to student services, users are able to sift through over ten layers of displayable features on the map. Once a layer is selected (i.e. “Student Services”), users can click the corresponding item that appears on the map to learn more about that specific feature and what it looks like.

Smigielski, who has a dual degree in integrative studies and geographic information science, believes that this immersive interaction is an essential step beyond the traditional map format.

“The original Middletown map is just a PDF of the buildings and roadways, with a small list of major departments and no indication of their location,” he said. “That’s what’s cool about mapping things on an interactive micro level; we eventually want to have not only a picture of a building, but a floor plan as well, showing where such offices, stairwells and doors are located.”

A secondary goal of the map is to get students more involved on campus and utilize available resources. To do so, the map provides descriptions and pictures at each point.

“In the practical sense, our map displays a lot of student services that I think are underused on campus,” said Smigielski. “Giving them an interactive map where they can locate these services and learn about them is a great way to get more students involved.”

The development of an interactive map is part of a larger goal of Jiang’s to help Miami set up a “Smart Campus,” one that provides useful technological geographic information at every corner. It would help individuals make quicker, smarter decisions with seamless interactions between technology and themselves. Such a campus would provide a cost-effective approach to a variety of areas, including student recruiting, emergency preparedness and response, and facilities management, said Jiang.

Although the development of the preliminary coding only took about 20 hours, the design of the actual interface and creation of transparency between each system extended the project over three semesters.

“Creating the actual display – the building shapes and dots/lines on the maps – that stuff’s not easy, and you have to tune it so it’s accurate,” said Smigielski. “Making it interactive and getting each of these systems to work together, that’s where it takes the most patience and a lot of learning.”

The aesthetic shell of the map was created using Google Maps Application Programming Interface (API), which allows users to construct their own map design in concordance with Google’s location data. The database side, however, was coded using Google fusion tables, which is like an Excel file with more applications, said Smigielski. That’s where the data is stored and what actually renders the map layers and shapes.

Although Smigielski has graduated, Jiang is determined to have maps developed for both Miami’s Hamilton and Oxford campus. With a project of this magnitude, more people would need to contribute, said Jiang.

“I would love to push this project to the Hamilton and Oxford campuses, but it would require a larger, specialized team of people,” she said. “There are many steps to this process, and it’s just not realistic to rely on a two-person team.”

With a larger team, design and focus, the prospective interactive maps would venture far beyond getting someone from point A to point B. Both Smigielski and Jiang agree that these maps would become, and spark, Miami culture.

“I think the maps would help increase the students’ sense of community and identity as a Miamian,” said Jiang. “There are a lot of possibilities and many ways we can use this campus map; not only as a practical function, but also just as a feeling, an emotion – you feel more attached to the campus if you get more familiar with it, and your memory of your college life will become more colorful.”

“I like the idea of – as it grows – other students adding to it to make it their own,” said Smigielski. “I am very hopeful that one day it will be this giant network of apps with people uploading information to it. That’s something that I think could really impact Miami’s culture.”

To use the interactive Middletown map on your PC, smartphone or tablet, visit www.regionals.miamioh.edu/webmap.

Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency