Mobile Computing | News

New Apps Help Users Map Building Interiors and Crowdsource Maintenance Problems

Two new modules allow non-tech-savvy users to map the interiors of school buildings in a detail never before available and to use crowdsourcing to speed up repairs and building hazards on campuses.

Modo Labs, a mobile app platform provider, introduced the two new technologies at the Educause conference this week in Orlando, FL.

The company's Indoor Maps module goes beyond simply providing a building's floor directory and points of interest. It will allow non-technical users the ability to add and update indoor map content themselves from the company's Kurogo Mobile Campus app.

According to Modo Labs, administrators or even students can map the entire interior of a building with little or no training.

The new module lets users:

  • Browse and search a campus, building or specific floor;
  • Search for and identify different building features and amenities;
  • Provide rich content like photos and videos describing buildings;
  • Link to other modules; and
  • Keep sensitive location information secure and out of the hands of third-party databases such as Google Maps.

"Indoor mapping is growing in importance with universities with sprawling campuses that can sometimes have several hundred buildings," said Andrew Yu, founder and chief technical officer of Modo Labs.

The second technology Modo Labs introduced at Educause is a module that will allow administrators to quickly identify and remedy problems around a school's physical plant. With the Facilities module, users can report the location of problems and required maintenance for everything from heating and air conditioning adjustments to repairing bathrooms or broken windows and changing light fixtures.

"Our new Facilities module serves as an omnipresent 'traffic cop' that allows any problem or hazard on campus to be quickly reported to trigger a dispatch," Yu said.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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