The on-campus tour is a valuable experience for any prospective student. It allows them to get a snapshot of what campus life is like, but it is just a single snapshot. If the day of the tour it is raining, or classes are not in session the on-campus visit can fall short of genuinely showing what life as a student will be like, not only for the student but their families as well. TAMUC structured their 3D map and virtual tours to provide more than a snapshot, but rather a whole picture of student life at TAMUC.
By starting users off with virtual tours, TAMUC lets the user ‘choose their own adventure’ and dive into different virtual tours. Lucky’s 360 Tour takes a user through 15 VR- enabled 360° panoramas that highlight campus life, narrated by Lucky, himself. Lucky is also hiding somewhere at every stop. There are an additional 8 Map Tours from student services to residence halls. The other tours included:
- Campus Life
- Academics and Campus
- Meaningful Moments
- Historic Walking
TAMUC leverages their virtual tours to help paint the complete picture of life as a Lion.
Reimagining Campus for Everyone
“In the last year, the campus map and virtual tours have given us a medium to talk about the unique college experience at TAMUC. It is so much more than just a degree”
Director of Web Applications
Integration with Localist
TAMUC uses the sidebar to show off and display a variety of information and types of media. From videos to contact information and directions to 360° panoramas, TAMUC makes the sidebar a command center for students, faculty, and staff daily while giving prospective students another way to experience on-campus life.
On average visitors spend 5 minutes 27 seconds on the interactive map
Each month at least 1,000 unique visitors experienced TAMUC’s 360° Tour
69% of Map Tour leads came through the Residence Hall and Campus Life virtual tours
Over the last year, TAMUC has embraced the best practices for interactive maps and virtual tours, from the details like using 2nd tense (You will…) to engage visitors to involving cross-campus resources to make the end product as complete as possible.
“Hey, can we add this?”
A college campus is an intricate place. This is really where the value of a campus map comes from, creating a collection point for everything. TAMUC added the information from a PDF of different walking routes onto the map to give that information another home and channel to be accessed. This process was replicated across the map for bike trails, parking, and bus routes. Possibly most importantly for accessibility; through collaboration with the Office of Accessibility TAMUC used the map as another avenue for visitors to experience the campus, familiarizing themselves with available resources and how to access them.
To answer the question, “Yes add it to the map”
To enact these best practices, it took collaboration and that in itself is a best practice. The content management system behind the map and virtual tours lets stakeholders across campus collect all the intricacies of the campus in one place.
“In addition to a great recruiting tool, we want the map to be the definitive resource for all location-based information on campus.”
Director of Web Applications
TAMUC has writer, Savannah Abbott and graduate assistant, Rahul Poludasu to thank for the heavy lifting on this project.