"Students are increasingly turning to the internet to augment traditional college search techniques," according to Chris Carson who represents the website. Carson added that CampusTours was recently voted one of the "Top 10 Internet College Resources" in a student survey by Time magazine and The Princeton Review.
"The CampusTours Awards Committee found this to be a well-crafted campus excursion worthy of of the 4-Star Virtual Tour Award," according to the website.
People world-wide can take a virtual tour of Wittenberg's campus thanks to the efforts of five students and the university's webmaster, Markus Kruse.
The two month-long summer project involved nearly 2,500 combined hours of work using the latest web technology and Java programming language.
Kruse said there are more than 1,000 images on the site which take visitors almost everywhere on campus. Surfers can take an overview tour by choosing points on a clickable map to visit various buildings and facilities. The fully interactive tour allows visitors to take a "walk" around campus, beginning at the university seal located on a sidewalk midway between Recitation and Blair Halls.
Future enhancements to the tour will include the capability to "meet" key university personnel. Already there are downloadable movies which include information on the biology department and East Asian studies and theatre and dance programs.
The tour is designed for recent browsers, including Netscape and Internet Explorer using the Apple Quicktime VR plug-in. Kruse, a native of Berlin, Germany, and a 1989 Wittenberg graduate who recently earned his Ph.D. from Ohio State University, was hired as the university's first full-time webmaster the the summer of 1997 and has made a number of upgrades to the university's website.
The primary audience for the virtual tour is prospective students, but alumni and other interested persons can get a good overview of Wittenberg's dynamic campus environment.
"While there is no substitute for a personal campus visit, the virtual tour is a wonderful opportunity for prospective students to see the beauty of our campus as well as the exceptional academic, residential, athletic and recreational facilities we offer," said Ken Benne, dean of admission.
"I am not aware of any of our peer institutions which offer such a complete preview of their campus," he added.
As if to underscore the truly great reach that the world wide web offers, three of the five students involved in the project are international students from three continents. They are: junior Brian Feller (New Philadelphia, Ohio), junior Doug Heyob (Harrison, Ohio), senior Christian Heraty (Oberwil, Switzerland), and sophomores Jan Pieter Oosterom (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) and Luciana Goncalves (Aflitos Recife-PE, Brazil).
The university's web site, which averages more than 1,000 visitors each day, also has detailed information on all of Wittenberg's academic departments and majors, a section for alumni, student services and activities and the athletic program.
Two years ago Wittenberg's website was selected the best among Miami Valley colleges.
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