The University of Warwick has a very large campus which extends over a considerable area. In 2013 discussions were held between SmartNE and the University with a view to making it easier and quicker for new students and visitors to find their way to particular rooms and locations around the campus. The WAI2Go platform with its mapping and brokering capability offered the features that were wanted by the University and SmartNE were commissioned to provide a navigation solution based on the WAI2Go platform.
SmartNE worked with the University to produce a bespoke map of the campus and buildings. A search facility using auto completion of location names was provided. Rooms can typically be referred to by more than one name and it was essential for the search system to be able to recognise this and to give the correct directions. The interactive map was integrated with the University web site so that there would be a seamless experience for visitors to the web site.
Using CAD plans, SmartNE produced an attractive multi-colour bespoke map of the campus that could be viewed by iOS or Android devices, web browser or touchscreen kiosk. It clearly delineated the different buildings and departments and added layered information showing car parks, bus stops, toilets, shops etc. It also provided a navigational tool to pinpoint a location and to enable wayfinding anywhere across the site. The app provides directory searches or quick searches (type the first 3 letters ...). When searching, multiple names for a room can be recognised and users can choose shortest path, rainy day or wheelchair routes.
Last year there were 48000 users of the App at the University and up to 3000 searches per day at the start of term. Since the system was introduced the University has recognised other ways in which the WAI2Go smart map can be used in its day to day operations. It has been extended to provide a 'tree tour' and a 'historical tour' around the campus and a 'memories map' to support an open day event. It has also been extended to include the University's campus at Southend.
The University of Essex has a complex campus on a hillside where the main building has entrances at multiple levels, mezzanine floors and lifts which don't stop at all floors. This makes finding your way around the site challenging, particularly for wheelchair users. Added to this the room numbering scheme in the main building is complex and this has frequently led to students (and even staff) arriving late for lectures. SmartNE worked with the University to produce a radically different and more cost-effective solution.
The European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) approached SmartNE in 2013 with a view to mapping their site in Noordwijk, the Netherland. This the largest site of the European Space Agency and it has large numbers of visitors each year. ESTEC wanted a private and secure navigation system to help staff and visitors find their way to their intended locations and to provide them with essential information.
The app was developed using the WAI2Go platform and it went live in 2013 . Visitors are able to download the app on arrival. Access to the map is confidential and secure as it links to the personnel directory and meeting room booking system as well as to the restaurant menu. Frequent updates are made to the site's CAD plans and so the map is frequently updated to maintain overall accuracy.