(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University today launched a virtual campus tour that will give prospective students and others, anywhere in the world, an opportunity view the SOU campus in an immersive, online experience.
The virtual tour is expected to be an effective tool in recruiting students, and also will be helpful for those learning their way around campus or who want to see the facilities offered by various SOU departments.
The SOU tour includes 18 tour stops, each of which has an initial 360-degree photo, in which viewers can scroll side-to-side and up-and-down, similar to Google Street View. Each tour stop also includes secondary 360-degree photos, positional media (such as videos superimposed on screens that are part of the original photo) and supplemental media (other videos and photos).
An audio tour guide escorts viewers around campus, with scripts provided by staff members from the site of each tour stop. The tour can also be viewed with virtual reality goggles, for a fully immersive experience. SOU’s admissions staff are expected to take a couple pairs of goggles with them on recruiting visits.
SOU’s Marketing and Communications, Admissions and Information Technology departments have been working on the project for the past several months with the vendor YouVisit, which has produced similar virtual tours for about 600 other colleges and universities. A photographer from YouVisit was on campus in November and shot dozens of photos as SOU’s trees showed their autumn color.
Tour stops include Raider Way, Hannon Library, the Science Building, Theater Building, Jefferson Public Radio, the Music Building, Stevenson Union, Third Eye Theater, Churchill Hall, Center for Visual Arts, Digital Media Center, Raider Village, The Hawk, Student Recreation Center, Lithia Motors Pavilion and Raider Stadium, along with the Ashland watershed trails and Lithia Park.
A link to the virtual tour has been placed near the top of the SOU home page.