Friday, April 27, 2012

University Campuses on Google Maps

The University of Arkansas Campus Map is a good example of how the Google Maps API can be used to create a mapped guide to a university campus.

The map includes all the useful features that you would expect from a campus map; you can search for rooms and buildings, find dining areas, view the location of computer rooms, see where parking is available and view bus routes through the campus. The map also includes walking directions, so that students and staff can enter a starting point and a destination and view walking directions on the map.

Another really nice feature is the labelling of buildings, which becomes more detailed the more you zoom in on the map. When the map is zoomed out the building labels are abbreviated to fit on the map but as you zoom in give the full name of a building or department.

If you want to create something similar with your own maps you can use the MapLabel Utility Library. Labels created with the utility are dynamically rendered on Google Maps using Canvas 2D. Developers can define the font size, the font face, color and alignment of the labels. The library also includes maxZoom and minZoom controls which let you define at what zoom levels labels should be visible.

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