Campus with a Street View

11-18-09 Street View
Hayden Lawn is seen from the roof of the Matthews Center. ASU is in the running to be the first university featured on Google Street View.(Scott Stuk | The State Press)
Published On:
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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ASU’s Tempe campus could become one of the first universities in the country to be featured on Google Street View as part of Google Maps’ U.S. Street View Special Collections contest.

Five universities are finalists after Google received more than 25,000 suggestions in the categories of university campuses, parks and trails, pedestrian malls, theme parks and zoos and landmarks to be featured on Google Street View.

Other campuses in the running are Michigan State University, Princeton University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Stanford University.

Voting will be open until Nov. 30 at 11:59 PST, and participants can vote as many times as they want. Only one of the universities will be featured on Street View.

Max Davis-Johnson, deputy University Technology officer at ASU, said the selection is part of a growing relationship between Google and ASU.

“It would be a wonderful plus for ASU,” he said of the University’s selection. “We’ve adopted [Google] for a lot of our Web presence.”

University campuses accounted for 44 percent of all the suggestions, according to a statement by Google.

The winner of the contest will have a Google Street View “Trike” sent to document its location.

The Street View Trike, a tricycle that tows a large camera several feet in the air, was created to gain access to places around the country not accessible by car.

When the trike was released in the U.K., Google received more than 10,000 nominations for the first street view, with landmarks Stonehenge and Warwick Castle claiming the most votes.

If ASU is selected, the Trike will ride around the Tempe campus and take 360-degree photographs that will later be added to Google Street View.

Davis-Johnson said the street view could provide an online virtual tour of the campus.

“I think it would be a major benefit for incoming students,” he said.

Nathan Wilken, ASU technology support analyst coordinator, said it could be another outreach opportunity for the University.

“It’s pretty exciting and it would be a huge deal for the University,” he said.

The Google Street View camera is known for taking pictures with strange things in the background, and Davis-Johnson said he’s interested in seeing what it might find on the ASU campus.

“Who knows what they are going to catch,” he said.

“We’re excited about the possibility of working with Google to make it easier for students, faculty and visitors to find their way around our campuses,” said Adrian Sannier, vice president and University Technology Officer.

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