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Exterior Door Survey

At the end of the spring 2022 semester, Tim Russell, Strategic Space Planner for the University, approached the CGA with a significant problem to solve. Information on the accessibility of all the exterior doors on campus was needed by a variety of William & Mary stakeholders, including Student Accessibility Services, Campus Police and others involved in security, and Facilities Access control. Tim and the CGA Fellows met this need by developing a database that lists which doors have swipe versus manual access; ramps; manual versus automatic opening mechanisms; and more.

The dataset covers all the exterior doors on campus: 1,546 doors on 231 buildings. The data will: be used by Accessibility Services to assist individuals navigating campus, direct work orders for installing swipe readers to make the university 100% swipe accessible, direct budgetary questions, and forecast and allow an evaluation of each building’s accessibility, allowing for 3D, non obstacle, room to room navigation.
"As mentioned, the digital platform was not GIS but the experience and insight gained using GIS made the learning fairly seamless…with attaching tabular data to spatial data. That is the power of understanding GIS, an ability to use an individual’s comprehension of data schema, data types, and data connections and apply that knowledge to understand similar programs and how to work within the new system to produce a deliverable product. The Fellows did a great job in diving into the project, taking ownership and delivering a product to a multitude of departments that were extremely impressed with the efficiency and accuracy of the product.  Another way the Fellows impressed me had to do with our meetings. They came prepared; questions on how to resolve issues but they had suggestions of how to work out the issue…which was usually correct. The round robins discussing why we were doing this, users of this data, how to create data tables and schemas, defining attributes, deliverables, access to deliverables, were all discussions the Fellows fully participated in and led often. It was a great pleasure working with this team."

- Tim Russell, Strategic Space Planner for the University
Exterior Door Survey

This project used W&M’s system for space and property information, FAMIS. The platform, based in AutoCAD, contains floor plans for every building on campus. The Fellows gathered floor plans, brought those images into PowerPoint, and recorded data for each door on the slides and in an Excel file. While this method is not based in GIS, later on, the spatial data can be tied to the geographic locations of the buildings around campus for both internal and external use.