Campus TECHNOLOGY SpotlightS
Technology transforming teaching, learning, research and service
UArizona’s Enterprise Geographical Information System Maps
If you’ve ever used the UArizona Campus Map to find your way around campus, look for available parking, or found yourself curious about a certain tree on campus, then you are already acquainted with the work and resources of the UArizona Enterprise GIS (EGIS). EGIS is a service within the department of Planning, Design & Construction (PDC) that manages the University’s spatial information and systems. The services and resources EGIS provides are used to manage assets, analyze the physical campus and institutional patterns, assist with wayfinding and more.
GIS, or Geographic Information System, is a system that maps, manages and analyzes various types of spatially related data. Integrating geometric data (physical features) with descriptive data about those features is at the heart of GIS. For example, on a basemap you could locate the precise position of every garbage can, or wifi access point on campus and then associate attribute information with each, such as type, manufacturer, service zone, maintenance schedule and more.
EGIS collaborated with University Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) to develop UArrive, a dynamic, interactive map application that helps campus users learn about parking and transportation options, find CatTran routes, navigate to current events and discover locations of the closest bike parking to a particular building.
UArrive began as a collaboration between EGIS and PTS to build interactive parking maps from older, static maps. Assistant Director for EGIS, Grant McCormick explained, “We converted PTS’s static maps into data so they could be used in interactive mapping applications.” Interactive maps require less effort to maintain than static maps, which “become out of date the day after they’re made,” McCormick reflected.
The PTS team is able to monitor parking lots during campus events in real-time, extending the functionality of UArrive. “The teams that were monitoring the lots during Commencement 2022 could indicate if a lot was full or not for the event,” said Maree Archuleta a GIS Analyst with EGIS. “When full, a lot would automatically be removed from the event map so that to those going to campus and trying to figure out where to park for that event, the full lot would no longer be visible.”
EGIS is interested in expanding their resources available to colleges and departments across the University, as it contains data relevant to many different campus stakeholders.
Learn more about the EGIS at pdc.arizona.edu/gis/egis-resources.html
Tech Creativity in Student Success District
The next generation of innovators has room to grow in the Student Success District.
CATalyst Studios, in the Main Library, is a collaborative environment that allows ideas to become reality. Several studios each focus on a specific kind of technology, with interdisciplinary experts available for consultation.
- Data Studio, with a large data visualization wall for data design and modeling
- VR Studio, for an immersive environment
- Podcast studios, set up for professional-grade recording
- Green screen room, for high-end video production
- Maker Studio, with multiple fabrication tools such as 3D printing, laser cutters, sewing machines, routers, and more
- 3D printers, now included as part of assignments in many curricula, particularly Architecture, Project Engineering, and School of Information. Any member of campus who has created a model can submit the job to print via the Library’s website.
Borrow Technology sits in the lower level of the library, where visitors can see the high-end cameras, 3D printing machines and scanners, laptops and accessories available to check out at no charge. Across the aisle, OSCR’s Zone computer lab has consultants who can assist with using audio-video editing, 3D printing, design and animation software.
Borrow Tech keeps the inventory updated to current needs. If someone comes to the desk and asks for something that isn’t already provided, the item is researched and if possible, added to the program.
Recently, Borrow Technology has been developing a partnership with Native American initiatives. Many students who are studying remotely from tribal lands or remote parts of the state have limited access to technology and the Internet. An endowment is being established that will provide technology bundles to those students during the entirety of their University term.
Travis Teetor, manager of CATalyst Studios and Borrow Technology, is excited about what bringing students from across campus together around tech can do. “We let anybody come in and use our equipment which results in some interesting collaborations. Engineering students may need an art student and they collaborate on design not only functionally but perhaps even aesthetically.”
Learn more at successdistrict.arizona.edu