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University, Google Updating Maps

It was not long ago that if one searched Google for LSU Eunice's physical address, one would end up in a rice field somewhere north of Iota. Today, that discrepancy on Google Maps has been fixed, and the university's Office of Public Relations is working with Google to enhance the Eunice area map to include key locations and buildings of the campus.

"A week ago if you searched Google maps for LSU Eunice, you would find a large, empty tan area," said LSU Eunice Public Relations Director Van Reed. "Today, you will see updated areas that include parking lots, and athletic field markers."

Soon, according to Reed, building footprints will start appearing, as well as, the many sidewalks winding through campus.

Reed's office has been working with Google Maps advisers to render the entire campus on the latest maps. It is a lengthy process.

"Every little edit is scrutinized and reviewed," said Reed. "We have been asked numerous times to redraw a building or asked to verify information about a building and its features."

There are over a dozen edits in the system now being evaluated by Google Map reviewers. Some features are added instantly to Google Maps while others await future assessment or edits.

"Our goal is to have the entire campus searchable as part of a large scale virtual tour we are working on. Soon, we will be providing Google with floor plans of each classroom building, so if a student searches for Manuel Hall Room 108, Google Maps can take them there," said Reed. "We'll also link the building with photos and YouTube video tours; all found and linked through the map."

The process does not happen overnight. Google updates routing information every 3-4 months, so while changes to the local maps may start appearing over the next few weeks, the changes will not be searchable for several months.

"Our reviewers told us to be patient," said Reed. "So we are sitting back and answering their questions, adjusting our drawings according to their recommendations, and taking it one step at a time."

Reed hopes to have the entire map finished, searchable, and integrated into the virtual tour by November.


August 13, 2013