Tour campus in the comfort of your home


Virtual Tour

Erin Zaranec

When preparing for a campus tour, everyone is expecting one thing: lots of walking. Parents dread it, students dread it and tour guides are guaranteed an all-day workout, rain or shine. But now, needing comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing for campus tours is a thing of the past.

Students can now get from one side of campus to the other, or tour the whole campus, in a matter of minutes. Yes, you read that right- you can make it from the Library to Rockwell and back in less than 5 minutes or less.

After approaching Kent State to participate in an extension of Google Maps called Google Street View, Google Maps crews spent two days at Kent, virtually mapping our campus.

“I’m not sure how Google chose Kent State, perhaps because we’re a rising college university,” said Emily Vincent, director of university media relations. “We are the only college in Northeast Ohio who is currently on the Google Street View for university campuses, so we are very excited to be a part of Google’s technology.”

The team took more than 4,600 photos of campus using two specialized cameras, making the whole campus accessible through the Google Street View maps.

While other universities were only toured with a Google Street View Car, Kent State was toured with a Google Street View Car and a walking Google crew member. By utilizing both cameras, almost every single sidewalk and pedestrian area can be virtually accessed instead of views being limited by the Google Street Car.

“We’re one of the earlier adopters of having this Google capability. If you look at other campuses the quality of the photography may not be as good, but we’re taking advantage of the new photography. It really allowed for every pedestrian area to be accessed,” said Vincent.

The University is hoping that having Kent’s whole campus available with a few clicks will benefit current and future students as well as faculty, staff and campus visitors.

Vincent said she believes that Google’s Street View will not only benefit students and families that may be considering attending Kent State, but will also help the community familiarize itself with our campus.

Always up for something new, I decided to tour campus myself…from the comfort of my own bedroom. Clicking my way around campus, I was startled to see a life-sized black squirrel. 

“We thought it would be a fun and creative idea to place certain things on campus that would be captured so that people may find them while touring campus,” said Vincent, “we are hoping to do a contest later on so we’ll see what happens with that.”  

After finding one of these surprises, I was determined to find more. Clicking my way from Central to Front campus, I had my eye on the prize. Kent really played their cards right. After relentless clicking, I could only find two hidden objects.

When asked if there were more objects to be found, Vincent only laughed, “Well that would ruin the fun of the contest, I can not comment on that.”

After touring campus multiple times, I was amazed by the technology. You can virtually walk almost every single sidewalk on campus, even going up and down staircases just as you would on a walk to class. Current and future students are able to clearly view campus landmarks, like the Library, The Brain and even the black squirrel statue by the Student Center. 

Contact Erin Zaranec at [email protected].