Customer Story

GIS Like a Champion:
Notre Dame Uses Cartegraph Data to Build High-Performance Campus Operations

Uncover how the University of Notre Dame manages 187 buildings, 1,250 historic campus acres, and 11.6 million gross square feet of space. All with a small, yet mighty, University Facilities Information department of three.

  • Location
    Notre Dame, IN
  • Enrollment
  • Department
    University Facilities Information
  • Gross Square Footage


Smart, high-performance facility management has always presented challenges that resemble bookends: to minimize costs and maximize revenues; maintain deteriorating infrastructure assets and destroy data silos; build up constituent protection and break down complex data. But, when faced with an unprecedented set of pressures—a pandemic, worker shortages, and supply chain disruption—how can higher education facility managers stay at the head of the class?

Campus building and space management teams, along with property portfolio managers, need to double down on savvy investment. Not only to tackle the present environment but also to excel in the years ahead. If there was ever a time to exit the era of PDFs, paper, and spreadsheets, this is it.

In Indiana, the University of Notre Dame’s University Facilities Information (UFI) department has taken bold next steps that show what’s possible. The small yet mighty team of three manages an extensive property portfolio, including 187 buildings, 1,250 historic campus acres, and 11.6 million gross square feet.

Notre Dame campus map in Esri's ArcGIS


Pairing Cartegraph software built for higher education campuses with their ArcGIS Enterprise platform, this school of over 8,600 students now has a firm grip on improving its operations. That includes managing master floorplans, maintaining facilities, optimizing classroom space, and proactively protecting students and staff amid a global pandemic.

Notre Dame went fully live with Cartegraph facility and space management software in December 2019. Remarkably, before that, the UFI team didn't have any sort of comparable GIS-centric or web-based tools.

"Space is a resource that is just as important as employees or finances."

The "old way of doing things" created some sticky situations where everyone kept their little slice of the data or the floor plan that they needed—and they didn’t really share. While this temporarily worked for some units, it made higher-level strategic decision-making near impossible. As a result, the Notre Dame UFI team knew they needed a better way to manage their spaces and to share that critical data with partners around campus.

So how have things changed since making the most of their building and space data? There are two areas where the institution has made formidable progress:

  • First, tracking office occupancy, along with general space data sharing and accuracy, has taken significant leaps forward. The team can now point people towards a floor plan to verify where they sit—important for 911 and utilization purposes. The team notes that while their data isn’t perfect yet, it’s way better than it could have ever been without Cartegraph.
  • Second, capturing lab occupancy data has become frictionless. Where once there were huge swaths of lab space unaccounted for in the university’s master database, now there’s no confusion about which space they're talking about. On top of that, if the UFI team needs to update a polyline, a room number, or something else, it’s fixed in a day or two at most.

Implementing Cartegraph at the right time has also proven beneficial because the issues facing the facilities department—and those in similar positions at universities large and small—do not exist as fixed targets. According to the Notre Dame team, space is a resource that is just as important as their employees or finances. With Cartegraph data, the university can manage that space in the same high-quality way as their other critical assets.

The university’s physical growth reinforces a heady reality: campuses are essentially small cities. With their own utilities, fire and police departments, and post office, managing something that complex requires data-informed decisions. As such, it’s important to know what assets you have, where they’re located, how much they cost, and how to perform the right work on the right assets at the right time.


In the University of Notre Dame’s case, before-and-after statistics help to tell the story. From 2017 to 2019, the UFI team verified slightly more than 33,000 spaces in 270 days. But since 2019 with Cartegraph mobile workflows, close to 19,000 spaces have been verified in just 61 days. Overall, the university is now 151% faster with its field verifications for space data. The effort also included summer interns, meaning no full-time employees were added to the project.


Faster space field verifications with the help of Cartegraph software.

Sometimes, the benefits may appear less obvious, even if they’re critically important. The facilities team recalled an instance involving glass panel inspections. The situation demanded a quick response and required the creation of an inspection app for use in a particular building.

Using Cartegraph’s facility operations software, the university's GIS specialist was able to stand up a custom tool that helped employees quickly and completely conduct inspections on hundreds of panels. In turn, this allowed maintenance workers to identify situations that needed immediate attention. As a result, all of the urgent issues were fixed and now the campus maintenance team has a tool they can use to keep on top of the situation moving forward.

For those universities considering Cartegraph, expect a high-tech, high-performance sea change. The UFI team boasts that the software is incredibly powerful and that the efficiencies you'll gain with Cartegraph will open up a world of new opportunities. Of course, that’s not to say that the transition happens without dedicated people to support it. Notre Dame's advice? Put in the legwork to get your space data and CAD files in a good place.

But once you do, the difference will have far-reaching effects worthy of graduating with the highest honors. With such a powerful and flexible solution, the university credits Cartegraph space management software in helping their institution achieve high-performance campus operations. And, the UFI team is excited to see where it takes them next.

Have an idea for a customer story? We’d love to hear it!
Contact Colleen McKenna at
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