Virtual tour lets viewers around the globe explore Princeton's campus

March 17, 2016 noon

Princeton University has launched an interactive virtual tour that allows visitors from around the world to explore the campus remotely. The tour is available in four languages (English, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish) and comprises 23 stops highlighting iconic buildings, academic centers, and student and recreational facilities.

The virtual tour offers viewers an experience similar to visiting the University in person. Tour stops include full-frame photos of each location, 360-degree panoramas, and related photos and videos.

Admission Virtual Tour Blair Arch screenshot

Princeton University's iconic Blair Arch is one of 23 stops on a new virtual tour of campus. The tour is available in four languages (English, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish) and can be accessed via desktop, tablet, mobile phone or virtual reality glasses. The virtual tour offers viewers an experience similar to visiting the University in person. (Image courtesy of the Office of Admission and YouVisit)

The Office of Admission spearheaded the project and worked with the Office of Communications and the media company YouVisit to produce the tour. The platform is part of Admission's initiative to reach a broad range of audiences in the digital space, including the increasing number of students using mobile phones to access the Internet. The tour can be viewed on a desktop, tablet and smartphone.

"The virtual tour will be an essential tool in our recruitment of a diverse pool of undergraduates," Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said. "Students near and far will be able to experience the beauty of Princeton's main campus in a dynamic and engaging manner."

Princeton students, several of whom are Orange Key tour guides on campus, are the virtual guides and greet viewers at each stop. Students share a short description, with historical tidbits and fun facts, of campus buildings and locations.

Viewers may explore the campus via a walking path, follow the tour from start to finish or jump from stop to stop, and read the location descriptions in the information boxes at the bottom of the screen. Viewers also can experience the tour through virtual reality on their mobile phones with virtual glasses, like Google Cardboard glasses.

Highlights of the tour include:

  • the athletics complex, with an imposing interior shot of Jadwin Gymnasium and a 360-degree panorama of the Shea Rowing Center;
  • East Pyne courtyard and its full interior view of the octagonal Chancellor Green Rotunda;
  • Engineering Quadrangle, which includes a 360-degree photo of the newly opened Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment;
  • and Icahn Laboratory and its two-story louvers that move with the sun.

"The tour will serve many audiences, including students whose parents might not speak English, international students and students who might find the cost of traveling to campus prohibitive," Rapelye said. "It highlights our commitment to fostering a close-knit, residential research university."
 

Admission Virtual Tour Jadwin Gym screenshot

Stops on Princeton's virtual tour include: full-frame photos of the location, such as this photo inside Jadwin Gymnasium; 360-degree panoramas; and related photos and videos. Princeton students, many of whom are Orange Key tour guides on campus, are the virtual guides and share a short description of campus buildings and locations. (Image courtesy of the Office of Admission and YouVisit)