[caption id="attachment_51926" align="alignleft" width="104" caption="Prospective students can tour Northeastern's 160 campus buildings in three dimensions from their computer. "][/caption]

It doesn’t require airfare or gas money, and students think it’s cool: Three-dimensional virtual campus tours have launched at seven colleges and universities, providing a welcomed alternative to the often-pricey college visit.

CampusBird.com provides Google Map-based layouts of about 4,800 U.S. college campuses, and the Boulder, Colo., company has created a virtual 3D tour for seven higher-ed institutions, allowing prospective students to scroll...

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