I hadn’t been planning a complete armchair-micro-mapping-makeover of Colorado State University, but it was one of those things, it began by surfing the map/data in Colorado ‘hunting’ newbies (just to say hello and invite them to OSM-Colorado - and found myself admiring the good work done by our rival Buffaloes (CU) on mapping the Boulder campus(es); well I decided I’m gonna do you one better…

So, with love (it’s a friendly rivalry – I have Buff family), I think I’ve now put CSU on the map (better). Of course you’re free to have your own opinions, but could this be the ‘best’ mapped campus in the US? You’re also free to leave me comments, I’d gladly view other well mapped campuses; here is the general location of CSU on OSM

Some details in case folks are interested in some of the ‘stranger’ things in my micro-mapping style.

  • First, I try to use the entire gambit of transportation tags to best show what mode(s) of transportation should be using that ‘trail’; this is a campus with a strict ticketing policy for biking, etc. where you aren’t allowed. Therefor you’ll see I used highway=pedestrian, area=yes to represent the large ‘plaza-like’ (including The Plaza) areas that are generally ‘dismount zones’, then as a good micro-mapper should I broke the cycleways off the streets (i.e. removed cycleway=lane) and created new ways for them, so you’ll see along some streets ‘parallel’ cycleways and footways (the sidewalks) with a cycleway the sidewalks should be pretty much walking only, hence highway=footway tag, except where bikes need/often use the same ‘trail’ then I used highway=path (i.e. cycleway=bikes only, footway=walking only, path=combo)
  • After getting into mapping, I realized it is my 10 year graduation anniversary, and a lot has changed around campus (and my memory is fading – I rarely make it up that way anymore, and it’s probably going on 3 years since my last visit to FC, probably 6-7 to campus); so a lot I had to pretty much ‘armchair’ map, and some things like the areas of the ‘plaza’ under the Clark building (and especially the Natural Sciences building) I had to guesstimate/try my best to remember how it looks under there, so those will probably need fixed up by survey or someone with better memory/more recent visit.
  • Lastly, as it’s been so long, etc. points of interest such as eateries, facilities, etc. will need added; maybe I’ll make a special visit someday, but it is a rather large campus and it might take an army (hmm… yes, Rams, where the heck are the Spatial Information students… I’ll have to reach out to some of my old profs, I have talked to one of them in the last few years…)

That being said, CSU is where my love for mapping began, so in turn, I spent somewhere around 30-40 hours (who’s counting) editing the Main Campus (and Hughes Stadium) of Colorado State University; I’m proud to be a CSU Ram Alumni!


Location: River Rock Cohousing, Fort Collins, Larimer County, Colorado, 80522-0580, United States

Comment from Harry Wood on 23 July 2013 at 11:38

Great work.

Maybe you could look at getting the map used by the university somehow. This map of Cambridge university is the best example of a university doing that:

Trouble is google maps of CSU seems to have a lot of indoor floorplan data, presumably supplied by the university. So I guess we won’t be persuading the university to switch2osm any time soon on their main display. We clearly have better data on the gardens and trees of the campus now :-)

Comment from russdeffner on 23 July 2013 at 16:03

Thanks Harry,

I too saw their fairly nice (mainly due to the indoor stuff) campus maps using Google; and agree it may be hard to make the case, but you never know it seems a bit ‘half-ass’ since almost all these buildings are multiple stories and I couldn’t see a quick/easy way to see the other levels (just which ever one was ‘default’, etc.). Maybe that would be better done with OpenLayers or something where they could just ‘overlay’ that data.

Beyond gardens and trees :) I think cross campus travel, parking, and general beauty of the campus is better and with some survey the usability of the map could blow any other away. I will reach out to some folks up there and see what they have to say, and will update here.


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