The Smart Campus Project
Jovenes Mapeadores, the YouthMappers chapter of the University of Panama, took on the initiative to implement the Smart Campus project that will share information about all the facilities located within the UP campus to benefit the university community.
It is important for people to know the different access points the university has for people with disabilities. It is important for people to know the infrastructure of university buildings for the purpose of improving them and giving them maintenance.
The result we hope to achieve with this project is that the university community and people who do not know the university campus, are able to obtain updated information about the facilities offered by the University of Panama and be able to search for information quickly and effectively.
How did the Project come about?
As a result of students’ interest to know more about geographic information systems and how to apply it, we came up with the idea to start with a project to map an area that we visit and live in daily. After deciding to focus on mapping the university campus, we noticed that only maps that existed were outdated, poorly located, and lacked detail. It is easy to get lost on such a large university campus and searching for a direct route to a specific site can easily become a marathon task.
In order to carry out the project, we created different phases: discussing and deciding what information we wanted to present within the final project (the map); creating a list of the facilities that are inside the campus (buildings, green areas, recreational areas, access for people with disabilities, parking and other landmarks); organizing a tour of all university buildings on campus during which we created; and added a list of attributes (ex. bathrooms, classrooms, laboratories, water sources, elevators, cafeterias, deposits among others) within each of the buildings.
We carried out a verification process of the campus data we gathered to prevent any detail from being left out. Next, we uploaded the data for the university campus to Survey 123 for ArcGIS, a field data collection application, and created a survey form with the collected data. Survey 123 georeferenced our data and added our campus data to a virtual and 3D map, where anyone can quickly locate places on campus from their mobile devices through a completely free app.
Both students, teachers and those who visit the campus will travel faster to their destination saving time when teaching or studying now that they are able to map the fastest route! We will update OpenStreetMap’s information on our campus and its surroundings using Mapillary. This application will help us include 360 georeferenced images of the campus.
About Joevenes Mapeadores
Jovenes Mapeadores, the YouthMappers chapter of the University of Panama, is made up of young student volunteers who work in collaboration with Esri Panama, provider of the Geographic Information System software. We also work directly with Mapillary who donated equipment for this project.
We have participated at the following activities during which we have had the opportunity to present the Smart Campus project and introduce ourselves:
ESRI Panama User Conference, August 2017
21st General Assembly of the Pan-American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), October 2017
GIS Day at the University of Panama, November 2017
GIS Day at the Technological University of Panama, November 2017
GénesisTuñón is an undergraduate student at the University of Panama studying Alternative Tourism and a member of Joevenes Mapeadores. While in high school, she participated in the Global Connections and Exchange Youth TechCamps: My Community, Our Earth Program, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in Panama City, Panama. Through it, she learned about GIS and its many applications and hopes to continue to use it in her academic and professional career.
All images in this article are property of Esri Ing. Mapillary, OpenStreetMap & YouthMappers.