Interactive campus maps could mean big bucks for colleges

Nearly eight in 10 students say campus tours are valuable.

Spiking gas prices and a growing reliance on college websites could make online campus maps a premiere recruiting tool, to the tune of $60,000 per month.

Technologists who have tracked the evolution of the interactive campus map say the online tour—complete with 360-degree views, descriptions, and videos—will take on a more vital role in college recruitment efforts as gas prices rise and the days of multiple campus visits become unfeasible for most middle-class families.

“You simply can’t afford to take your children to 20 schools to see what they’re all about anymore,” said Kyle James, founder of the popular higher-education site .eduGuru and a former webmaster at Wofford College in South Carolina, during a Feb. 28 edSocialMedia webinar. “It’s just too expensive to do that … but it’s vital in the recruitment process.”…Read More

Touring campuses in three dimensions … from your living room

Prospective students can tour Northeastern's 160 campus buildings in three dimensions from their computer.

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 through any structure on campus and view it almost as they would in a traditional fact-packed tour led by a student guide.

Northeastern University, a 20,000-student campus in Boston, added CampusBird’s 3D tour model to its web site in November, and Northeastern officials said the mere presence of a 3D tour could be a valuable recruitment tool.…Read More