Google Maps Adds RIT to ‘Street View Gallery’

Virtual tour of campus resulted from university’s triumph in an online contest




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201111/google_tirke.jpg

A. Sue Weisler

A visit by the Google trike in October 2010 led to the virtual tour of RIT that is now available on Google Maps’ Street View Gallery.

Visitors to Rochester Institute of Technology no longer need to even step foot on campus. A virtual tour is now available from one’s desktop, thanks to Google Maps.

Google has added RIT to its Street View Gallery, which gives users a 360-degree street-level look at important landmarks and attractions across the United States. RIT earned the opportunity to be included in Street View by taking part in an online contest sponsored by the company. The university received nearly 30,000 votes to emerge as the winner of the University Campuses category.

Last fall, Google toured the campus with a specially equipped tricycle, which towed nine directional cameras along with a GPS unit used for positioning. The “trike” cruised around campus and snapped photographs, which now exist as a continuous stream of 360-degree images available for public viewing.

“Over time, this will replace our existing Web tour,” says Daniel Shelley, assistant vice president and director of RIT undergraduate enrollment. “We will be using this as one of the data layers that people can access to actually see what’s around campus and to get a better sense of what it has to offer.”

Viewers can take the Street View tour of RIT by going to maps.google.com.

201111/google_tirke.jpg

A. Sue Weisler

A visit by the Google trike in October 2010 led to the virtual tour of RIT that is now available on Google Maps’ Street View Gallery.