The campus of a college plays an integral role in a student’s decision to attend the school. Currently, Dickinson takes advantage of many different ways for prospective students to interact with the Dickinson campus through multiple visit days each year, daily tours, and off campus events. While Dickinson also has quite a large internet presence, there is a lack of the full range of information that is available through an on campus visit. For many prospective students, learning about a college online is very important to the college search process and can often impact whether or not a student actually visits the college. The existing virtual tour on Dickinson’s website is not comprehensive and focuses on some general aspects of life at Dickinson such as academics and residential life. This “tour” does not follow a specific path and is difficult for students to gain a full understanding of Dickinson through viewing the tour. As a tour guide I realized that many of the campus features that are integral to campus tours are left out of the virtual tour, presenting a very different message in the two forms. I have created a virtual tour that mimics the campus tour route to provide prospective students with a much stronger understanding of the buildings, features, and requirements of Dickinson.
To create this map I collected data using a GPS. I walked around the Dickinson campus on my typical tour route and stopped at all buildings and landmarks that I discuss or highlight while on my tour. I included these points, as well as the general tour route in my map. Before uploading my map to the internet, I created a general map in ArcMap. This map consisted of basic layers such as points of interest, the campus buildings differentiated by category (academic, residential, student life, etc.), local and state roads, and the campus tour route. When I uploaded my map to the internet I decided to use a satellite image layer as a basemap. As a result, it became superfluous to include such layers as the buildings and roads because they were clearly visible in the imagery. I formatted my map in a virtual tour format that provides a picture and a description for each point that is highlighted.
While this map is not completely comprehensive and does not replace the need for campus tours it does provide a more detailed understanding of Dickinson in one place for prospective students. Hopefully as a result of this more prospective students may gain an interest in Dickinson or at least have a familiarity with the campus when they visit.