A Google team on Monday, July 18 rode a specially designed trike along public paths at Western Washington University, capturing the campus via 360-degree ground-level photos.
Western is participating in the Google Maps Street View Partner Program, which includes use of the trike to photograph pedestrian-only public areas of campus. Members of the public will be able to access the panoramic photographs once they’re integrated into Google Maps and, through the free partner program, Western also plans to make the campus photos available via the Western website.
“In addition to showing off the incredible beauty of Western’s campus, inclusion of the campus in Google Street View will allow prospective students and others to see our university close-up and to better understand our campus geography before visiting,” Paul Cocke, director of University Communications, said in a press release. “We are very proud of our campus and look forward to more people being able to enjoy its many special features through this program.”
Western joins a number of other university campuses, including San Diego State University, Penn State, Cornell University, Dartmouth and others in the Google program.
The Street View trike, which weighs more than 200 pounds, is outfitted with a special multi-lens camera apparatus that collects the images for the 360-degree street-level views. Once the images are stitched together into panoramics and published on Google Maps, users will be able to visually explore and navigate the campus by zooming into the lowest map level or dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a path outlined in blue. To protect individual privacy, the faces of pedestrians on campus will automatically be blurred.