Indoor Mapping Initiative

In January 2014, Spiders began working on an accessibility initiative in cooperation with Google Maps. For over 15 months, the Spiders put in over 440 hours of work to create indoor maps of the buildings on Syracuse University’s campus.

Building Initiative Infographic
Infographic by Megan Elliott

Focusing on accessibility, the maps label the locations of bathrooms and entrances, highlighting wheelchair accessible ones. They also include stairwells, elevators, vending machines, room numbers and descriptions. In the Carrier Dome, the maps also include ATM locations, emergency responders posts, ticket booths, and shops.

The project began by highlighting the areas of buildings that were pertinent to students, but now has more inclusive information for all. The process was long, with 203 building floors on campus requiring detailed location notes. The Spiders matched their notes to original proportional floor plans and used Photoshop to place and create icons for each feature.

“It was really beneficial to the campus community in general. A lot of Syracuse buildings are confusing to get around,” says Spider Beth Fritzinger ‘15, who worked closely on the project.

After many proofreads and fact checks by the Spiders and campus planning, the indoor maps were sent to Google in March 2015. By downloading the free Google Maps app, anyone can gain floor by floor indoor access to many buildings on the SU campus.

“Many of us carry smartphones which know exactly where we are,” explains Ben Adamson, designer for the Online Platforms group in SU’s Office of Marketing and Communications. “These maps are useful for everyone but become especially important for people that rely on a building’s accessible features, such as ramps or elevators”