Pages Navigation Menu

Tucson's two-wheeled news source

Students create detailed bike map of UA campus


View UA Campus Bicycle Geovisualization in a larger map

A group of students in the  University of Arizona School of  Geography have created a detailed bike map of the University of Arizona campus using video, images and route marking.

Graduate student and team leader Melanie Meyers Colavito said it was the lack of information about bike facilities around campus that prompted them to create the map.

“We looked at Google Bike There around the U of A campus,” Meyers Colavito said. “It was kind of weak in those areas.”

Google's Bike There feature routes cyclists around the UA Mall, the preferred route for many cyclists.

Currently the Bike There feature will route you around the UA Mall to get across campus rather than show you that you can ride on it and won’t route cyclists through the various underpasses that cross Speedway Boulevard.

The group was able to use a device that records video along with the GPS coordinates to add videos of routes and crossings to their map.

“We decided to use the device to collect data around campus to provide more information for someone who might want to bike around the area on top of what Google already provides,” Meyers Colavito said.

The group — made up of undergrads Dan Majewski, Brian Fialkowski and Carlos Parada as well as Meyers Colavito — then asked their classmates to fill out a survey about the map’s effectiveness.

“We tried to assess if our increased visual cues were effective for someone who might want to use our map to make a decision about which route to take,” Meyers Colavito said. “It seemed like the video was really useful for people, both bicyclists and non-bicyclists.”

Meyers said three of the four member team are avid cyclists so they “took it and ran with it.”

“We ended up spending a lot of time putting the map together,” Meyers Colavito said.

For Meyers Colavito, one of the best parts of the assignment was getting the one member of their team who was not an avid bicyclist out on the road. She said throughout much of the day, he had a huge smile on his face.

The map is open to the public to add to it and make it more useful to the community.

3 comments
3wheeler
3wheeler

That's really cool. A big "Thank You" to all the students who worked so hard putting this together.