University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

Recently in Campus Maps Category

Nifty directory now updated

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The updated directory listings in PDF format are now available! Besides viewing the online Twin Cities department listings, directory of services, and University organization easily accessible from the footer of every U of M web page or at, you can now download printable versions.

The 2010-11 directory is divided into three separate files:

Introduction (PDF)
Directory of services, phone information & instructions, University organization, University Senate members, calendar, campus maps, building abbreviations.

Twin Cities Department Listings (PDF)

Coordinate Campus Listings (PDF)

Interactive campus map launched (beta)

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The new interactive campus map is out of test and was launched in beta this morning. At the same time, the existing static map pages were updated to the new templates for a consistent look and feel across Twin Cities maps.

Give the new map a spin. Old links to map pages will continue to work. You might also notice that the maps index page is now under Also, you may advertise as an easy way to get to Twin Cities campus maps.

The map is in beta and there are several known issues being addressed. We welcome your feedback and ask that you submit any through the feedback form. You should see some gradual improvements quietly roll out before we exit beta.

Thanks to the University Services Program Management Office (PMO) and Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) for all their work on this project, especially PMO for their project management, all the GIS development, QA, and more.

Sneak peek at new interactive campus maps

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We are very close to rolling out the beta version of the new interactive campus maps. If you'd like to see how things are progressing, take a look at these pages:

Keep in mind, we are still working on them, so at times it may be slow to respond.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? We'd love to hear from you!

Interactive campus map update

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We're happy to report that the Twin Cities interactive campus map is on track for completion, though it will be a bit delayed. Some architectural and hosting issues are currently being sorted out, some design elements still need to be applied to the map, tile cache regenerated (we're just guessing but, it's logical to assume this), etc.

So, while you probably won't see the map go live by the first day of classes, we still expect it to launch in September, perhaps with the 'beta' moniker attached. Existing campus maps will still be out there and available when the interactive map launches.

Interactive maps heading to usability lab

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Technical work has begun for the interactive campus maps project and a prototype should be ready for usability testing July 7-8. A cross-section of users have been invited to participate in navigating their way through several case scenarios. Even though exhaustive research, planning, and preparation has taken place, it seems that there's always a few golden nuggets to be gleaned through usability.

If all goes well with usability, the final version should be available, but not necessarily linked to, by Aug. 14., and expected to be in full-blown production by early fall.

The interactive campus maps project is a collaboration between University Relations, University Services, and Parking and Transportation. In addition, the interactive campus maps project lays the foundation for Project Footprint. Project Footprint is a mapping initiative to visually depict how the University impacts local, state, and global economies.


Hook, line, and sinker

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There’s been an awful lot of talk in the past few days about Governor Pawlenty’s plans for the fishing opener. The Governor has asked a sportsman from White Bear Lake to be his guide and they are scheduled to leave at 3:30 a.m. Yup – in the middle of the night. Yikes! Is catching a fish worth getting up that early?

As I thought about the steps the Governor is taking to ensure a successful opener, it seemed to have many similarities to University Relations' approach with the interactive campus maps project.

For example:

Identifying a subject matter expert
Governor: The fishing host the Governor selected has been hitting White Bear Lake since he was a little boy. Presumably, the fishing guru knows his stuff.

University Relations: The Geographic Information System (GIS) team within University Services is comprised of experts who live and breathe latitude and longitude. These folks are super-smart and are the ones UR is relying on.

Preparing for the event
Governor: There’s a picnic and all other sorts of festivities planned for the night before the opener. And, from the sounds of it – White Bear Lake has been sprucing up its venues for the official’s visit.

University Relations: I don’t think there’s a way I can compare this project to a picnic. But, what I can say is UR is in midst of lots of preparations including consulting with Disability Services, holding focus groups with faculty/staff/students, working hand-in-hand with Parking and Transportation Services, and seeking the wisdom of the Cartography Lab.

Using proper tools
Governor: Odds are the Governor will be using a fishing rod, proper tackle and lure, as well as some sort of fishfinder electronic gadget.

University Relations: The U has invested in the top-of-the-line software from ESRI. ESRI is the world leader in GIS (geographic information system) modeling and mapping software and technology.

Timing the launch
Governor: Yes, he is heading out at 3:30 a.m. to achieve the most successful results.

University Relations: Okay – we do not wake up at 3:30 a.m. to work on this project. However, we have a schedule and are sticking to it in order to achieve our goals.

Measuring key performance indicators
Governor: I think every fish story I’ve ever seen has included the weight and length of the poor fishie.

University Relations: No doubt about it. UR will be reviewing analytics, measuring traffic, and working with colleagues across the campus to ensure the map is meeting the University’s business needs.

Celebrating success
Governor: With all the right timing and tools, it seems the Governor has a fairly decent chance of landing a prize-winning Nemo and getting his photo op.

University Relations: By dividing the project into manageable phases, partnering with key stakeholders, and keeping our eye on the prize, most certainly completing the interactive maps project will be like catching the big one – hook, line, and sinker.


Plan your work; Work your plan

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There's an ongoing joke in our office about my desire to print a large banner and tape it along the wall with those words.

Plan your work.
Work your plan.

Doesn't seem like such a hard concept, does it? However I am amazed daily at how often this simple mantra isn't followed. Within the electronic communications team, we try very hard to adhere to this philosophy. Now, don't get me wrong. Not every project requires a project charter, business requirements, functional requirements, etc. With a little common sense, it is pretty easy to identify that changing a few words on a Web page is different than an entire Web site redesign.

It seems to make sense to only use those six words as a guidepost for avoiding duplication of effort, misuse of resources, or being pulled into a hundred different directions like a Gumby doll.

Recently, I had a chance to see incredible project management in action. And, I was so impressed I just need to share it with you. Our team is working with University Services on developing an interactive campus map as well as Project Footprint. As you may recall, Project Footprint is the initiative to demonstrate visually how the University of Minnesota touches local, state, and eventually, global communities.

We have been partnering with the program management office in University Services and I just have to say—THEY ROCK! Although we are in the initial planning stages, their thoughtful analysis, methodical approach, initial timelines, and draft goals blew me away.

A project of this magnitude has several stakeholders, multiple phases, and complex technical implications. However, by mapping (get it? ha-ha-ha) our courses of action, I am confident the project will be completed within scope and on time.

As I mentioned, the project is just in its infant planning stages. But… I hope many of you will provide feedback, suggestions, and share your interest as the initiative unfolds.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available.


Interactive Maps

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University Relations is partnering with University Services to build a functioning, secure, high-performance and scalable system and application architecture for an interactive mapping system. The project starts with an interactive campus map and extends into Project Footprint. Project Footprint is a joint effort between University Relations and the Office of the President to create an interactive map capturing the reach and scope of the University of Minnesota. The primary purpose of this map is to share the University’s educational impact, economic impact, and extent of public engagement with external and new internal stakeholders in local, state, and global communities.