mappery blog

real life maps

US college campus maps: the really big ones

Posted by mappery on October 10, 2007

758t.jpgIt’s remarkable how many HUGE colleges and universities there are in the US. According to 2006 data, 133 4-year colleges had total student enrollment of over 20,000. That’s almost 4 million students! The biggest of them all is Ohio State University with 51,818 students, while Miami Dade College with its 8 campuses takes the prize for highest number of undergrads at 51,329 (University of Texas at Austin, which I had heard had the highest number of undergrads, now ranks 5th with 37,037).

The campuses of these huge schools vary widely, from dense urban grids to vast natural landscapes infused with lakes and fields. This great diversity comes across when looking at the campus maps, as does the spectrum of artistic representation. The quality of some maps is exceptional, while some fail to inspire. Campus maps need a James Niehues, who reinvented ski maps, to come along and bring things to a new level.

( For a gold star: can anyone name the school of the map shown here?)


2 Responses to “US college campus maps: the really big ones”

  1. Matt H said

    Don’t know which college that is in the map, but I thought Coastal Carolina’s map was just silly. It’s only got a handful of buildings, so why not just put the text right next to the feature? Also, the football field and the track look like they’re sloping. If that’s really the case, I feel sorry for their athletes! 🙂

  2. scott said

    You’re totally right, cross referencing the buildings with the numbers is annoying, and it does look unnaturally sloping. I guess I was just a sucker for the cool panoramic view. I think my true favorite is the University of Wisconsin – Madison. It labels the buildings with abbreviated names so as not to clutter up the map and provides a key to the abbreviations if you want a longer description.

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