Virtual Tours

360-Degree Wayfinding Kiosks Guide Students Through Library Spaces

University of Otago Library

A university library in New Zealand has added a virtual tour to help patrons find their way around the main facility, which includes some 2,000 individual and group study spaces. The University of Otago's Central Library in Dunedin now features two 55-inch screen display kiosks that allow students and others to explore the open plan building via 360-degree immersion.

According to local reporting, the project was initiated by Punch Marketing, a Dunedin company that had been creating physical signage for the library and had already produced virtual tours for other organizations.

Using a virtual tour platform from U.S.-based Matterport, Punch personnel spent four days "documenting" the building by capturing more than a thousand panoramic shots (detailed enough to show room numbers) that were then stitched together, the way Google Earth allows users to take images of their locations and have them converted into 360-degree views online.

The new kiosk setup presents students with a "doll's house perspective" that leads to walk-through imagery. Group study areas can be pinpointed and booked via smartphone.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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