How To Create a Campus Map

by | May 29, 2024

There are many reasons to create a campus map for your school or facility. You may not even realize the full importance of campus maps, and how various groups of people may use them.

  • Prospective students and parents may get their first impression of a college through the campus map, getting a feel for what it would be like to attend that school.
  • Disabled employees and visitors may use a campus map to find accessible entrances and exits.
  • Public safety and emergency response teams utilize campus maps to help them plan and react in times of crisis.
  • Delivery personnel may use campus maps to identify the shipping and receiving area, or the apartment building they need.

With that in mind, how do you create a campus map that provides the right information for each person using it? It’s always a good idea to talk to an expert to make sure your campus map easily and clearly serves its intended purpose. If you don’t want to do it yourself, Building Maps can help you develop an easy-to-read, safety code-compliant map of your campus.

Here are the steps to follow to create a campus map.

1. Identify the Type of Campus Map You Need

When you create a campus map, your goal is for it to serve a specific purpose. Who will use this map? What will they use it for? Here are some different types of maps that you may use for safety planning for your campus.

When you identify the type of map you need, you can differentiate between critical and non-critical information to display on your map. For instance, a wayfinding map of the campus may be too congested to list the name of each individual room in every building. You would be better served by identifying each building on campus, and then adding a wayfinding building map inside the main entrance of each building.

For safety purposes, campuses like schools may need multiple kinds of maps to aid first responders and mitigate adverse events.

2. Gather Floor Plans or Existing Maps

Use existing maps to save yourself time and improve your accuracy. Floor plans and existing maps can help you maintain the accuracy of the buildings you add to the campus. You also may benefit from satellite views of your facility. Be aware that satellite views may not be up-to-date if your campus has recently undergone changes, but they can also enable you to accurately add objects like trees to your map.

One of the most important aspects of your map is accuracy, so details like distances need to be correct. However, it’s also important to avoid too many details in your map. If the campus map is visually cluttered, it becomes difficult for visitors to use. Your goal should be to provide the minimum information necessary.

For example, if your map is already full, you may choose to omit trees and greenery from your campus map. On the other hand, trees and greenery may actually aid navigation. If you make the map yourself, you will need to choose which details add clutter, and which details add important information.

3. Digitally Draw the Campus

Using the software or app of your choice, digitally draw the campus space. Make sure your campus is drawn to scale. No matter what kind of campus map you are making, you will need to consider clarifying these details:

  • Public roads and intersections nearby
  • Public and private entrances to your campus
  • Public and private parking areas
  • Footpaths throughout the campus
  • Main and accessory buildings
  • Entrances and exits for visitors (including ADA accessibility), shipping trucks, and any other specialized personnel who use your map
  • Assembly areas for evacuation
  • Locations of security or first aid
  • The name of the campus
  • A legend to identify any symbols used
  • A scale to identify the distances
  • A compass rose to orient the viewer

You may find that you can overlay your detail identification on a satellite view of your facility, which is an easy way to ensure accuracy and save yourself some time. You should know that these may be more difficult to read at a glance, since satellite images tend to be dark and lack contrast. Adding details must be done carefully so the image doesn’t become too distracting.

Full-color illustrations are often the easiest to read, but there are some graphic design skills required to make them look legible and professional. It’s never too late to consult a service like Building Maps for simple, effective maps of your campus.

The Benefits of Using Building Maps to Draw Your Campus

There are many free services that can aid your campus map creation, but when you try to do it yourself, you may miss critical information and not even realize it. The art of mapping is not as easy as it sounds, and if you are not a safety expert you may inadvertently delay emergency response during a crisis.

When you work with an experienced mapping service like Building Maps, you ensure that your maps are easy to read, visually elegant, and most importantly, they follow local safety codes and regulations.

Our team is thoroughly trained in creating safety maps, applying nomenclature that emergency responders will easily recognize in a crisis. We also understand how to create maps that comply with safety codes and regulations, such as OSHA’s Emergency Action Plan minimum requirements.

Our motto is “It’s not just a map, it’s about saving lives.” That’s why we put the utmost care into creating legible, professional, easy-to-use maps of all types.

Contact Building Maps for More Information Today

If you’d like to learn more about utilizing our skills to create your campus map, or if you’d like to get started with a quote, just contact us here. Don’t put your campus safety in inexperienced hands. Let us draw the right map for your campus based on our in-depth knowledge and experience.

Tony Jones

About the Author: Tony Jones, CFPS, is the owner and founder of Building Maps. He is a safety mapping and code compliance expert. Tony holds his work to the highest standard because he knows “it’s not just a map, it’s about saving lives.”

More Like This

Get a quick quote or ask us a question.