University of Illinois Campus Green Map

April 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm (Uncategorized)

Champaign-Urbana Green Map

The above is a green map I helped create of the U of I campus.  One of the most noticable features is the abundance of bike parking throughout the campus.  Despite being a large university, though, there are not many recycling spots marked.  There are a lot of icons marking places that don’t really matter for a green map, such as places of worship or free speech locations.

The bike parking is most numerous on the Engineering Campus to the north, since it is the furthest from university dorms.  Thus, it’s easy for students to bike there for class, so we need to have a lot of bike parking available.  In contrast, we didn’t list very many icons in the greek housing/six pack area or the north end of the engineering campus (Beckman Quad).  Our map would have been better with improved coverage in those areas.

I looked at three other green maps to see how ours compared.  The maps were of Providence, Easton, and Stevens Point.  A trend I noticed among all three maps was that they all tended to focus on places of business rather than the eco-friendly aspects listed on our map.  Easton also showed a large number of parks in comparison to our map.  I think we could have improved by listing places of business, but not at the expense of removing the information we already have.

I think we have a good map for the purposes of showing where environmentally friendly aspects of campus are located.  However, I think there is more than just shown on our map, and it gives an incomplete view of our campus.  We didn’t list much in the way of bus stops, even though we have one of the best non-metropolitan area transit systems in the country.

    1. ICONS: Which icons are used the most?  Which are used the least?  Which icons are the most important for our map and for the particular place that we are mapping and why?   Out of the icons we selected to use for this project, which are least important and why?   Did we choose too many icons or not enough?
    2. SITES: What parts of campus have more green sites on the map than others or more of a certain type of green site than others?  Why is this?  Are there areas that we missed? – Where?
    3. COMPARISON: Examine three other green maps on the website and compare and contrast them to ours.  How and why are they different or the same?  Any tips for improving ours?

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iPad Mapping – Part 2

April 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm (Uncategorized)

Why is the iPad so big?  As I mentioned before, the screen size increase creates a number of useful features in the way of mapping technology.  The larger screen means maps can be viewed in greater detail, and we don’t have to zoom in as far to see the level of detail we are looking for.  This allows us to see a larger area of the map in detail.  Also, the screen size allows us to divide up the screen, showing information off to one side while displaying the map simultaneously.  The greatly improves the usefulness of the mapping apps on the iPad over the similarly available apps on the iPhone or Android series.

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iPad Mapping

April 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm (Uncategorized)

The release of the iPad has brought a whole new era in mobile computing.  Apple has jumped ahead of the competition by bringing us touch screen applications on a larger scale than the iPhone, which already holds a commanding share of the market.  However, the smartphone market is shared by strong competition using the Android application series.  One of the most important features to consider in the race to mobile domination is mapping.  Part of the reason the iPhone has been so dominant is that its superior selection of apps includes applications such as Google Maps and Google Earth.  Google controls the mapping industry right now, and the Google Mobile apps are included on Android devices as well.  However, will the iPad have this mapping technology?  According to an article from Information Week, none of the mobile applications developed by Google yet appear to have been optimized for the iPad.  As it is, the iPhone version can be used, but only with a reduced screen size or distorted appearance when expanded to fit the iPad’s larger resolution.

Thus, Apple needed to work on creating its own mapping features or translate the Google app for their new device.  There are already several apps for the iPad that deal with travel and mapping, according to Business Insider.  These apps allow travelers to find points of interest, track flight delays, look at street maps offline, and any number of other useful things.  Ultimately, though, Apple has adapted Google maps as a built-in iPad app.  In a review by CNet, the expansion of the maps app for the iPad screen makes it feel more like a real map, giving a clearer view of the surrounding area to users.  The touch-screen utilizes hand motions to zoom, drop markers, and roll the map back to view information on a location.  It seems that Apple has come out with a maps application that utilizes the full potential of the iPad, providing features that appeal to any consumer, be it the road tripper or daily commuter.

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Beckman Institute Illinois Simulator Lab

April 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm (Uncategorized)

I visited the Illinois Simulator Lab recently and got to see some of the simulators they use for research.  I didn’t get to experience any of the simulators myself, but I did enjoy looking at the flight simulator.  They based their design on a the cockpit of Frasca 152 simulator, but with a lot of hardware upgrades to increase the research capabilities.  The room itself has two seats for the cockpit surrounding by 3 screens showing views directly ahead and off to each side at an angle.

This simulator is very useful because researchers can use it to create and modify aircraft designs, which lets them test how well they perform under certain conditions.  This allows researchers to find out if a design is viable for production or not.

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Jimmy John’s Geocoding

April 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I decided to map all Jimmy John’s locations near me.  I had problems coming up with enough addresses, so I branched out to other cities near me that I travel to.  The addresses were then mapped using geocoding:

Jimmy John’s Locations

The geocoding is useful because it allows the addresses to be easily placed on a map showing all the locations within a certain region.  We can then use these geocoded addresses to find driving directions to and from those locations.

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