Google Maps Street View Offers Virtual Tour of Kent StatePosted Aug. 11, 2014
Virtual, interactive walking tours of the Kent Campus now possible with Google technology
Guests of Kent State University can now take a walk through the Kent Campus without ever stepping foot on campus by using the Street View for University Campuses feature on Google Maps. Kent State is the first university in Northeast Ohio to have its campus added to Google’s Street View for University Campuses. The technology offers a virtual, interactive tour of the Kent Campus, which makes it more accessible and viewable to online users.
A crew from Google Maps visited the Kent Campus for two days to take more than 4,600 photos of areas on campus, including those that are not accessible by vehicle, to create a walking view on Google Street View.
“Google has started to do walking views for colleges and universities across the nation,” says Justin Hilton, Kent State’s senior associate vice president for university relations. “Now, with this walkable technology they have, any place that you can walk can now be captured.”
Hilton says the crew from Google captured the campus photos by walking the entire campus, as well as driving on campus in a specialized car designed to take 360-degree photos of internal campus areas. Both the walking and street views feature campus walkways and streets, stretching from Dix Stadium to the beginning of the Lefton Esplanade.
Kent State departments, including admissions, athletics, the Alumni Association and more, will benefit from the university’s new Google Street View feature, Hilton said. In addition, the walking view will allow new students to get acquainted with the campus and seek directions, allow prospective athletes to view the campus environment, show alumni changes that have happened on campus and give interested employees of the university a glimpse of the working environment.
“This feature will allow someone who may be interested in Kent State to literally tour the campus from the comfort of their own home,” says Hilton. “They can walk our entire campus, and it is completely interactive and shows 360 degrees.”
Hilton says in addition to being the first campus in Northeast Ohio to launch the Google Street View feature, Google’s crew also used brand new technology to collect the photos. Kent State was one of the first universities in the country to take advantage of the new technology, which improved the photographers’ access to pedestrian areas.
“As we were sampling Google Street Views from other universities, we noticed the use of older technology limiting views on campus,” Hilton says. “The photographs used to be taken from a giant camera mounted on a tricycle, making it impossible to show things like staircases. Now, a host of cameras are mounted on a backpack, making everything on campus viewable.”
Kent State also is the first campus on Google Maps Street View for University Campuses to take a creative spin on the feature.
Hilton says in planning stages, the idea of a contest was suggested for incorporation in Kent State’s Google Street View even before the Google crew arrived on the campus.
“At certain parts of the tour, you will see things hidden,” says Hilton. “Now, we can run a contest that allows people viewing the Google tour to find these hidden things and become a winner of various gifts and surprises.”
To view the Kent Campus on Google Maps Street View, visit www.google.com/maps/views/view/streetview/university-campuses/kent-state-university.