Virtual Tours | News

BYU Students Create Virtual Tour of Campus

Prospective students considering Brigham Young University can get a taste of the Provo, UT campus without stepping foot out their front door. A new virtual tour, created by a group of students, aims to give potential applicants a look at the campus from the student's perspective.

BYU's virtual tour project began in May. Fifteen students -- from communications, theatre and media arts, information technology and music departments -- participated in the six-month project.

"Our goal was to get totally different students working together," said Jeff Sheets, director of the BYU Laycock Center, which helped coordinate the project, in a prepared statement. "This project really stretched the students and provided them with hands-on learning they wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise."

The idea for the tour project came about when Nevada-based XplorIT, a company who produces virtual tours, approached Information Technology Professor Derek Hansen with an offer. The company would allow BYU to use its technology to create a virtual tour of its campus if students would do the leg work of the project. Hansen and Sheets agreed then created and co-taught a spring course focused on the project. Students participating in the class worked on different aspects of the virtual tour.

BYU's new tour features images of the 560-acre campus -- including LaVell Edwards Stadium from the 50-yard line and an inside view of Carillon Bell Tower -- taken by members of the student crew who walked the campus using cameras with fisheye lenses. Additional elements of the tour include video, social media plug ins, historical profile, and input from students.

The tour also features a game where users can earn prizes by finding hidden objects as they peruse the virtual campus. Hansen supervised the students in creating the game element.

"The creativity, dedication and resourcefulness of the BYU undergraduates who worked on the virtual tour was inspiring," Hansen said. "Personally, it was enormously rewarding to see the scope and quality of the final tour."

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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