In terms of his career, recent graduate Dan Armand is doing more than putting himself on the map - he's designing it. Working with Detroit's interactive company, Naviciti, Armand is the driving force behind the maps used on the acclaimed, award-winning Web site MapDetroit.com.
"We pulled together information from traditional maps of the area with interactive maps we created using Flash," explained Armand, who majored in illustration at CCS. "The result was a user-friendly navigational tool that is easy to update and people enjoy using."
Last fall, MapDetroit celebrated its millionth search. The site allows users to choose points of interest (attractions, parking, transportation, stadiums, banks, hotels, shopping), view information about the location and navigate the area nearby. So, a traveler could use the site to find Comerica Park, then click on the restaurants/bars link to highlight (on the map) places to eat near the stadium. Prior to the Super Bowl, Touchscreen Visitor Information System kiosks were installed throughout the city to offer Naviciti"s interactive tool to visitors who may not be familiar with the Web site or do not have access to the Internet.
"Currently, we are investigating ways we can merge our maps with other existing technologies, such as Google, Yahoo and MSN maps, to create an even richer product," said Armand.
Over the course of his undergraduate education, Armand learned about the business-side of the art world and how to pursue a career in illustration after graduation. He found the rigorous critiques of his peers to be a liberating experience that pushed his ideas farther.
"I discovered that I had to rely on myself for how far I wanted to go after graduation," said Armand. "Gil Ashby (chair of the illustration department) taught me not to be confined by illustration, but to expand my horizons in the field and follow my niche."
- Graduation Year: 2005
- Major: Illustration
- Employer: Team Detroit
- Title: Art Director
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