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ND launches online campus tour

Casey Kenney | Thursday, January 14, 2010

 Notre Dame’s recent launch of an online virtual campus tour allows students, alumni and visitors alike to experience the architecture, beauty and spirit of the University campus.

The virtual tour on the University Web site features many prominent campus locations using multimedia techniques to display life at Notre Dame.
The tour includes academic buildings, places of worship, residence halls, student social facilities and athletic facilities, ranging from DeBartolo Hall to Rolfs Sports and Recreational Center to the new Ryan Hall.
Descriptions of the landmarks and locations are integrated with interior and exterior photos, as well as student-led video tours.
“Not everyone can visit campus as often as they would like,” Beth Grisoli of AgencyND said. “This virtual tour brings the spirit of Notre Dame to them.”
The virtual tour features the work of University photographer Matthew Cashore, including his 360-degree panoramic photos of such landmarks as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and a packed Notre Dame Stadium as the Irish prepared to receive a game’s opening kick.
According to Cashore, the online tour is a result of a need and an idea for a solution coming together at the perfect time.
“I had been experimenting with panoramas for several weeks before I knew about the Virtual Tour project and it seemed like a perfect fit to add them to the mix of visual elements,” Cashore said. “I think of places that lend themselves well to a 360-degree view, such as the Main Building rotunda, or other campus locations that people can’t easily get to but would like to experience, such as the inside of the locker room.”
The response to the Web site has been positive and the University plans to continually update it with new photos and features.
“The site is dynamic and we aim to add interactive elements to the site in the future, such as a way to post one’s own memories about locations,” Grisoli said. “People are quite excited about this new feature and we hope it will continue to conjure up feelings that express the beauty and spirit of campus.”
Student feedback about the virtual tour matches Grisoli’s enthusiasm.
“I really like the 360-degree panoramas,” sophomore Kevin Brainard said. “They give a complete view of the locations and allow you to really explore them.”
Junior Rob Steward believes the online tour could also help with recruiting.
“It’s a great idea that Notre Dame is trying to play up the visuals of Notre Dame since they are one of the University’s greatest assets,” he said.