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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Check it out! Google Maps Icons at Feng-Chia University

Celeste Jheng

Every day when you are at school, you are sure to see that large Google Maps icon in front of the library.  Actually, there are two Google Maps icons on campus.  You can see the other one on the lawn near the recreation building.  We see these installation art pieces every day; however, does anybody know what they really are and why they are there? To find the answer to these questions, I visited the Feng Chia University Public Relations (PR) Office.

All photos by the author

When I got to the PR Office, I was told to talk to Miss You, who is one of the office’s designers. She told me that they made these Google Maps icons as part of the graduation celebration last semester.  The graduation slogan was,  “Check in at FCU.” As everybody knows, “check-in” is a Facebook function that lets users upload their snapshots to “check in” with their friends and let them know where they are and what they are doing.

 After the PR Office had decided to make these icons, they had to think about where to place them.  They took pictures from many angles at many spots around campus such as the Ren-yan Building, the sport center, the lawn near the recreation building, and the library.  They decided that the sport center was too crowded to add a piece of installation art.  However, they wanted to put an icon at a place where it could be seen on the way to the sport center (the graduation ceremony was held at the sport center).  Therefore, they decided to put an icon on the lawn near the recreation building.  In addition, they put another icon in front of the library. 

Because these two places could emphasis the special features of FCU, they were chosen as the locations for these pieces of installation art.  In the future, these icons will not be only for graduating students to take photos of; they will also attract other students and visitors from off campus. By taking pictures of the icons and uploading them on their Facebook pages or personal blogs, students and visitors can save their special FCU memories and share FCU with others.

While everyone recognizes the Google Maps icon, using it as installation art might seem a little strange.  After talking with the designer, however, I now understand why they wanted to make these installation art pieces, and why they wanted to place them in these special locations.  If you want to know even more about these icons, you can search the Internet for news about Feng-Chia University.  And the next time you pass by one of these pieces of installation art, be sure to take a picture and keep it as a memory.

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