Best apps for finding your way around campus and C-U

A campus of 40,000-plus students is overwhelming to many. Plus, with so many one-way streets and buses, how will new students find their way to classes?

Champaign-Urbana has been my home for my entire life, but navigating the University’s campus felt like navigating a whole new world. To help you figure this campus out and get the most out of your smartphone, I’ve included the top-five apps you can use to navigate the sprawling University campus.

CU Buses

As the name indicates, this app will help you navigate Champaign-Urbana’s mass transit system. The app not only allows you to create trips and tells you which buses to take, but if the bus is late, you’ll know. CU Buses keeps track of all buses in real time, so you know if you can take an extra five minutes to brush your teeth or print your paper before you run out to catch your bus. CU Buses also allows users to create a list of favorite bus stops for frequently traveled routes.

Blackboard Mobile Learn

This app corresponds to the Illinois Compass 2g website, run by Blackboard Learn. Through the app, you can view assignments, due dates, exam schedules, syllabi and more for all classes using Illinois Compass 2g. More and more courses are using Compass for assignment submission and grade recording, so downloading this app will probably benefit you at some point in your Illinois career, if it doesn’t benefit you right away.

Minrva Library

The Minrva library app can help students navigate the nation’s second-largest University library system. With over 13 million volumes, students often aren’t sure where to start. The Minrva app provides a map as well as a search function to help students find books or other library materials as quickly as possible. Minrva also shows what types of loanable technology students can use, as well as how many of each type are currently available for checkout.

UI Dining app

The dining halls at the University offer a variety of meals and options for all students, including those with allergies or diet restrictions. Do you want to try a new dining hall, but you aren’t sure if they’ll have vegan options? The UI Dining app can tell you, and it can also tell you which locations are open and what they’re serving that day.

Google Maps

It’s a classic “Google to the rescue!” situation. You’re wandering around campus with some friends and suddenly, you’re in a part of Urbana that you had no idea existed. Or you want to walk to downtown Champaign, but you aren’t sure how to get there. Google Maps will hold your hand without making you feel like a child. Google maps can give you directions for mass transit (but not as accurately as the CU Buses app can), walking, biking or driving. With Google Maps in your pocket, you should never be lost in Champaign-Urbana.

Janelle is a senior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]