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Open the Hatch: A New Resource for Online Maps for Your Campus or Community

Interactive map apps that engage your visitors

Once upon a time, we found our way from one place to another by looking where we were going. We could see ahead of us and we were, well, where we stood. Simple right? Fast forward to the complex landscapes in which many of us navigate today, where we are looking more for places and things, destinations and locations, and using electronic devices (e.g. “smart” phones) with satellite imagery and GPS (global positioning system, requiring four-satellite “geolocation”) to determine where we are and show us where we are going. The good news is that all this technology can also be kind of fun. You’ve already read here about PortQuest, the very cool game app developed by GD that sends Portsmouth, NH visitors on a path around downtown to get to know their surroundings. But suppose you’re “in the business” of moving people around—a college or private school campus, for instance—efficiently and informatively, for orientation or recruitment or, gulp, fundraising? You want to make sure you get the right people to the right place for the right reason at the right time.

Findful to the rescue!

Now there’s an interactive wayfinding app that GD can customize for you! It’s built on Findful, a new map-enhancing technology that allows you to create the mobile map you want your visitors, donors, contestants, prospective students, new hires…you get the picture…to have. Combine a map with clickable links to location relevant images, data, and videos, and you’ve got an immersive visitor experience.

A Findful app runs on both iOS and Android, and can be embedded into any website.

Fessenden MapHatch App “Findful started out as a wayfinding tool for campus tours—but as we progressed with development, we realized there were so many potential uses for an interactive mobile map.” says Brenda Riddell, the app’s creator and proprietor of Findful. The idea for Findful came to her when she begain working on a campus map to be used on a client’s web site,” Riddell recalls, “and I realized there could be a way of approaching it that would be well suited for a mobile app. So, we began to explore the best technology to make it a reality.”

How It Works

“The Findful team illustrates a custom campus map against a digital map to ensure accurate geolocation. The client can then use the Findful content management system (CMS) to enhance the map with points of interest.” With the CMS, Brenda says, you can add all kinds of information to the points you’ve plotted on your map, including “text, images, slideshows and videos”—anything that will add value to the experience for people using your map app. “The goal,” she adds, “is to make any visitor experience more enjoyable, no matter where it’s applied. I also like the idea of self-guided tours…visiting a place of interest and discovering your surroundings at your own pace.” Once your map is set and published, it’s available for download to Android and iPhone devices from the Findful app. If you want your visitors to have a deeper, more rewarding and fun experience, you need to get moving yourself!

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