From CampusBird Blog

Boulder, CO – concept3D, Inc. has welcomed its first Canadian university to the body of schools using the CampusBird interactive mapping platform. Wilfrid Laurier University, a leading Canadian university known for academic excellence and a culture that inspires lives of leadership and purpose, has deployed CampusBird to create online maps of the Brantford, Waterloo, Kitchener and Toronto campuses. The deployment coincides with the re-launch of the university website.

Laurier’s new interactive maps feature 360-degree panoramic views, in-depth looks at academic buildings, athletic facilities and student services, and walking tours complete with photos and detailed descriptions. Built on top of Google Maps, the technology allows for zooming and panning and is viewable online and via smartphone. The Laurier application allows users to share content directly from the maps through social media, including Facebook shares and likes.

“The marketing value of this new map is huge because we recruit students from all over the world, many of whom have never seen our campus,” said Rachel BessetteContent Specialist, Recruitment & Admissions at Wilfrid Laurier University. “I am frequently asked by students, ‘What do your classrooms look like? What do your lecture rooms look like?’

“I can say that a lecture hall has 250 seats, but what does 250 seats really look like? With this new map, we can not only show the outside of the buildings in 3D, we can use beautiful panoramas to show inside places too. The map brings perspective, and that is extremely important. “

Other benefits of the new maps include:

  • An improved ability to differentiate campuses. There are important differences among Laurier campuses. For example, the Brantford campus is downtown in the core of the city, whereas the much larger Waterloo campus is like a city within a city. The CampusBird map gives life to these unique characteristics.
  • A more interactive, engaging experienceThe new application replaces technology that was non-interactive and composed of static photos. Individuals who are not able to visit in person can now go to the site, explore the campuses, and ‘walk’ themselves around.
  • Better on-campus navigation. Bessette pointed out that even for students who are visiting in person, many use the map to scope out their route and destinations. The map helps them plan their trip and navigate campus.
  • Larger recruitment reach. Universities everywhere are experiencing a rise in stealth applications, where the student’s first recorded contact with an institution is the submission of an admission application. These maps help stealth applicants understand the value of Laurier, and application pool is expected to grow to encompass them.

The university is also seeing benefits outside of marketing and admissions.

“Recruitment was the driving force for the new map, but now that we have it, other groups are interested in using it,” Bessette said. “For example, other departments are focused on helping current students get around. Or, if you are invited to come to campus as a guest lecturer, you can see the layout of the buildings and floors and get a better sense of where you are going. It is being used by a much larger community.”

concept3D, the developers of the CampusBird technology, reiterated that concept of community engagement.

“Wilfrid Laurier University has consistently demonstrated a deep sense of community among its more than 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students and beyond,” said Rushton McGarr, concept3D, Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re honored that Laurier will be using our technology to further foster that sense of community.”

To learn more about mapping and media services for higher education institutions, here.

About Wilfrid Laurier University

Laurier is a leader in integrated and engaged learning, connecting academic programming to co-curricular activities. The university specializes in arts and social sciences, business and economics, music, science, social work, education and theology.

Laurier has campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener,Toronto and Chongqing, China. The university was established as the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada in 1911 and remains the home of the affiliated Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. The university is also home to the internationally acclaimed Penderecki String Quartet, WLU Press and the Robert Langen Art Gallery. Wilfrid Laurier University has been the host institution for the Academic Council on the United Nations System secretariat since 2003, with offices located at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, part of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Campus.