New interactive map seeks to help students

Incoming freshmen now have a new way to explore Missouri Southern. University Relations and Marketing (URM) launched a new interactive map on the MSSU homepage at the start of the semester, meant to help students find their way around campus.

“We knew we needed to add a map to the website that was more interactive and more student friendly,” said Cassie Mathes, director of University Relations and Marketing. “In the past, we just had a pdf, paper map that students could print and it didn’t do much of anything other than label the buildings and tell you where you were.”

In order to create the map, URM partnered up with third-party vendor nuCloud, a South Carolina based company that specializes in developing interactive maps. According to Mathes, the map took approximately four to five months to complete once the contract with nuCloud was signed.

“They’re a group of really savvy web developers who create these maps for campuses all across the United States,” said Mathes. “I’m actually acquaintances with a guy who works for the company, so I learned about the interactive map idea from him.”

Though the map is technically a work in progress, current users have the ability to click on the various buildings and pull up additional information about each of the campus facilities. Included with the text blurbs are photo slideshows of each location, featuring the work of campus photographer Curtis Almeter and highlighting some of the various programs, departments and recreation areas housed in each building.

“I really like this interactive map and all of the features it adds,” said Mathes. “There’s a little work we still have to do. We’re still changing a few things on it and trying to align the building numbers on the old pdf with the new interactive map so they’re the same on both maps.”

Users will also be able to use the map to access video tours for some of the larger buildings on campus at some point in the near future. Though there is not yet an overall projected completion date, campus videographer Brian Mehrens is currently working to create these videos, which will be added to the map as each one is completed.

“There’s a lot that you can do with it and I love that you can access it easily on your smartphone and learn all about the campus,” said Mathes. “We were missing that on our website up until this point, so it’s kind of exciting to launch this.”

In addition to the video tours, URM is also identifying advertising spaces that can be included on the map to allow the campus to generate additional revenue.

“It’s something that so many people are looking at and using that I think it’s going to be a popular thing for advertisers,” said Mathes.

For more information or to report any necessary corrections, contact URM at (417) 625-9399.

“We’re excited about it and we hope a lot of people benefit from it,” said Mathes. “We’ll continue to feed it with new content and videos, so it’ll get even better than it is now.”