The UNC Greensboro Campus is crisscrossed with utilities and other assets providing lighting, heating, cooling, safety, and services to roughly 19,000 students and 3,000 employees. Set in the middle Greensboro, North Carolina, many city utilities intersect with the campus making management of campus utilties and infrastructure a challenge. At over 250 acres the campus is populated with 28 residence halls, 27 academic buildings, and several natural areas for recreation and study. All of this information is compiled into a Geographic Information System which allows university facilities departments to manage, plan, and analyze, campus activities and resources.
Created in 2017 as part of Facilities Design and Construction, the GIS Unit has evolved from simply managing GIS data, to producing web-based maps and dashboards beneficial to many departments on campus, NC811 ticket management, and Supervison of Facilities Archives.
The GIS Unit is exclusively responsible for three (3) key components: Maps & GIS, NC811 Ticket Management, and Facilities Archive Management.
The mission of the GIS Unit is in three parts. First, to maintain secure, standardized campus geospatial data and provide that data to leaders and staff in support of planning and maintenance activities. Second, provide transparency of university projects to the public. Third, provide a catalog of data and layers which may be accessed by students and faculty for academic needs.
Efficiently provide the best geospatial data to the right people, reduce redundancy, guide planning, increase reliability, and improve accuracy of campus spatial information.
Early Campus GIS Development
Original digital campus maps were stored in CAD format. These CAD drawings were georeferenced through ArcMap and exported as shapefiles for use in a GIS. The GIS allowed for maps to be updated and created quickly. Since this was prior to AGOL, all maps were distributed as PDF and paper to facilities staff. A system was also setup which allowed facilities staff to view GIS maps from a desktop computer.
New Campus GIS Development
In 2017, the GIS Unit was reorganized and placed under Facilities Design and Construction. The first task of this new GIS unit was to create a standard campus base map for use by anyone needing to make an up-to-date accurate map of the campus. This initiative was known as “One Campus/One Map”. This map was developed in coordination with Space Utilization and Planning (Formally Space Management) to ensure building names were accurate and up-to-date.
A second project was to update GIS layers for the above and underground utilities for Facilities Operations. GIS layers were updated using as-built drawings and air photos to identify above ground features and correct positional accuracy. These are updated regularly as new information is discovered or changes are made to the utilities.
The previous desktop GIS system (ArcReader) was out of date and was replaced with newer technology. An ArcGIS Online (AGOL) system was put into place and all GIS layers were moved into the cloud-based service. Whereas the ArcReader system was fixed to a single desktop computer, ArcGIS Online allowed users to access the layers and maps from mobile devices while in the field or office. These AGOL layers are the foundation for all Facilities GIS.
The AGOL layers made it easy to implement online reference maps and dashboards. Reference maps for all campus utilities, base map layers, buildings, and points of interest were produced for staff to access. This has not replaced the PDF or print maps completely. Printed maps are made available for field crews in the event of power or internet outages. These print maps are updated at least once a year or after major changes on campus. Dashboards were created to give decision makers high level views of the data such as building condition, projects across campus, or utility data.
The online system also allows for data to be shared with the public. These public maps and dashboards provide updates on construction and renovation projects, as well as street or area closures.
Departments Using GIS Data
- • Finance and Administration
Dashboards providing current information on projects managed by FDC complete with maps and charts.
- • Facilities Design and Construction
Utility locations above and below ground. Planning and location maps prior to design, and project dashboards.
- • Facilities Operations
Utility locations above and below ground. Planning and location maps prior to design, project dashboards, and Grounds snow removal, mowing, and spray maps.
- • ITS (Fiber Network)
Telecommunication fiber maps of campus.
- • Office of Accessibility Resources and Services
Accessibility map of campus in PDF form.
- • Parking Services
Campus base map is provided by GIS. POCAM staff provide layers indicating parking features and classifications.
- • Space Utilization and Planning
Campus wide space type dashboard. OSUP provided official building names, 4 letter codes, and numbers. OSUP also provides information on owned vs leased properties.
- • Environmental Health and Safety
Developing building floor plans for safety equipment mapping. Stormwater utility maps are provided to EHS as needed.
- • Real Estate
Campus boundary, city parcels, and campus buildings either owned or leased.
- • Campus Police
Air photos with labeled buildings provided as PDF. These are printed by the police department and laminated for use in patrol cars.
- • University Communications
Building footprints for the UNCG Mobile App.
The GIS Unit, Services, & Products
For further information on NC811, see the links below