Friday, October 12, 2012

Randolph College to launch interactive, multimedia map and online tour

Randolph College is about to launch a new web app that will make it easier to explore campus—whether you are a prospective student who wants to see the campus from afar, a community member deciding where to park for the next theatre production, or a current student learning more about the campus.

To use the map, just click on the markers to view videos,
photos, 360-degree views, and other multimedia content.
The Interactive Map and Virtual Tour combines a clear, easy-to-read map with multimedia content that will allow people to experience the College in a unique way. Map users can view photos and videos about academic buildings and campus traditions, as well as see several parts of campus with a first-person, 360-degree view as though they are on campus themselves. The map makes it easy to find any building on campus after your GPS or online map service gets you here.

“The map will give students an immersive experience that will make them feel like they are here,” said Michael Quinn, vice president for enrollment management. “We provide a very personalized guided tour for prospective students who visit campus. I believe the map will provide that same experience, and that will lead prospective students to decide to apply.”

“I think that it will encourage some to make an in-person visit—especially when they see the enthusiasm and spirit of the on-camera student guides.”

“This is a great venue for prospective students to get to know campus before they get here,” said Sara Reed ’15, one of several students who starred in the videos featured on the map. “They will be able to feel that they are a part of campus.”

Reed, from California, knows what it is like to learn about Randolph College from a distance. When she drove across the country to attend Randolph, she had never seen more than just a few photos of the campus. Having a tool like the new interactive map would have helped her feel more familiar with the College and more prepared to be a student here, she said.

Efforts to create the new app began earlier this year as the Randolph College Admissions Office sought additional ways to help prospective students see campus. An anonymous foundation provided funding for the project, and the Office of College Relations began the work necessary to create the project. Skip Wallace, a videographer for Randolph College, produced videos that explain and describe the campus academic buildings, residential halls, fine arts venues, athletic facilities, and a  few of the most popular traditions. Gold Key Guides, a group of students who provide tours for people visiting campus, added a personal touch by narrating the videos. Dave Blount, Randolph’s web manager, combined the photos, videos, and 360-degree views into a rich map experience.

The map will become publicly available on Tuesday, Oct. 16, with a link placed on randolphcollege.edu. When it launches, the virtual tour will include more than 20 points on campus, but more multimedia content will be added with time.