Virtual campus visits make real life easierWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- College campuses are notoriously difficult for visitors to navigate -- public parking is limited, one-way streets abound, and buildings are frequently known by several different names.
While the software is not new, Mohler says Purdue is the first university in the country to use it in this manner.
"One of the difficulties I had in developing the virtual campus map was the lack of information on how to build it," Mohler explains. "The city of Bangkok in Thailand is the only other entity I could find that was applying the technology this way."
Mohler says the Macromedia Shockwave software produces something far more interesting and useful than the typical static street map you see on the Internet.
"Not only can you zoom in on a particular area of the campus, but we've set it up so that all of the buildings 'pop-up' when touched by the mouse pointer," Mohler explains. "Then you can click on the building to see a picture of it and learn more about what's housed there."
Web surfers also can click on various landmarks and points of interest that have been photographed in Quicktime video and then pan through a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
"We're adding things to it all the time," Mohler says. "Right now you can see what it would look like to stand in the center of the football stadium or the basketball arena."
But perhaps the most useful feature is the building finder, which provides a complete list of campus facilities on a drop-down menu and then shows the user the precise location on campus.
The virtual map requires both Macromedia Shockwave and Apple Quicktime software, which are downloadable from the Web.
Source: James Mohler, (765) 494-9089; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Sharon Bowker, (765) 494-2077; e-mail, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org