StudentNews_360campustour

PhD student creates GCU Virtual Campus Tour video as part of university open days

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 16:19:00 BST
Maria believes that virtual reality and virtual tours have become more popular in light of the pandemic
Maria believes that virtual reality and virtual tours have become more popular in light of the pandemic

A GCU PhD student has designed and developed a 360-degree virtual campus tour video as part of GCU’s open days.

Computing PhD student Maria Insa-Iglesias, whose research focuses on Data Visualization and Exploration, was tasked with the job to create a virtual campus tour video which showcases the different buildings and departments found at GCU. The virtual tour allows new and prospective students to see the university campus, which is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maria was happy to be given the chance to work on the virtual campus tour video. She said: “As a student, I know the importance of Campus Tours when evaluating the university’s destination.

Students and their families are excited to attend Open Days to roam around University facilities. Considering the benefits of immersive technologies and thinking about a way to make Open Days safe, I thought that creating a web-based 360-degree Virtual Tour of GCU was an opportunity I couldn’t miss”

Maria believes that virtual reality and virtual tours have become more popular in light of the pandemic. She said: “It has been demonstrated that immersive technologies allow users to virtually experience the surroundings of a location, which is a much more enriching experience than watching a video on a screen monitor or smartphone.

With the Covid-19 outbreak, Virtual Tours have gained more popularity by making virtual environment accessible through web-based applications.

In sectors like tourism, the use of immersive technologies such as Virtual Tour (VT) has allowed users to evaluate holiday destinations. Similarly, museums have proposed VT to their clients to offer a small taste of what is presented in the museum before visiting it.”

She added: “Developing the 360 Virtual Tour was a challenging project due to the limited time we had to develop and make it accessible to students as soon as possible.

Many users are not familiar with 360-degree content like images and video. For this reason, it was very important to create a web interface which is easy to use and accessible to a wider range of people, including those with disabilities.”

To view the GCU Virtual Campus Tour, click here

By Rachael McAlonan

Got a SCEBE or GSBS story? Email me at Rachael.McAlonan@gcu.ac.uk or connect with me on social media here