King Abdullah University of Science and Technology created an interactive map of its unfinished campus.

Saudi University, Not Yet Complete, Shows Itself Off With an Interactive Map

by Lawrence Biemiller, The Wired Campus
, November 24, 2005

Recruiting students and faculty members for a university whose campus is still under construction isn’t easy, even if the university has $10-billion at its disposal. So officials at Saudi Arabia’s new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology — known as Kaust — commissioned an interactive map that lets users click on icons and see images of the facilities that will be constructed.

The university, due to open next year, will offer graduate-level research programs open to both men and women. Its 8,900-acre campus, located on the Red Sea, has been planned by HOK Architects.

The map offers exterior and interior renderings of Modernist academic, residential, and recreational buildings, as well as of a covered “pedestrian spine” linking the main research buildings with the library, a dining hall, and a quadrangle that has an elaborate water feature referred to as the “Sea Steps.” Farther from the map’s center are a marine-research center, a neighborhood of seaside villas called Safaa Island, a neighborhood of Venetian canals, a marina, a golf course, a medical center, and much more.

The Web page also offers a satellite view of the site and information about sustainability efforts. A university news release says the map was among the “first Web mashup applications to combine Adobe Flash, Google Maps, custom overlays, and English and Arabic text.”