Virtual Tour a Reality

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Virtual Tour Illustration

Artist's rendering of navigation options in the new virtual Campus Tour of Truckee Meadows Community College.

Students and guests of Truckee Meadows Community College now have the opportunity to explore 360-degree views of the campus and sites before making an in-person visit.

The TMCC virtual Campus Tour went online on June 1, and provides wide-angled views, walk-through narration in two languages, supplemental media, and a virtual reality (VR) component for visitors to explore.

“Having a virtual tour benefits the College in so many ways, especially in welcoming and reaching out to new students,” said Cal Anderson, Webmaster. “Prospective students will be able to first explore TMCC without ever setting foot on campus. That’s a huge win for showing our campus to international students, for example.”

The Web Services team led a committee of virtual trailblazers in getting the new tour up and running. Input was provided by many other College stakeholders who helped with writing text, shooting images, providing viewer insights and brainstorming content priorities.

Anderson and Thomas Dobbert, Director of Information Technology (IT), thank the following departments and individuals for everything from scripts, to translations, to photography and more:

  • Access, Outreach and Recruitment
  • New Student Services
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Facilities Services
  • Enrollment Management Committee
  • Frank Testa, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) overhead videos
  • Tim Ill, supplemental videos
  • Staff and students of the campus community
  • TMCC President Karin Hilgersom, PhD, and the Leadership Team

“It was a fun project to work on, a great team effort,” Anderson added. “Everyone brought their specific perspectives and skillsets to the table to make sure the message we presented was clear and engaging.”

Also, 15 virtual reality headsets have been ordered, and the full VR experience will be available for events sponsored by Access, Outreach and Recruitment, and at other College activities.

The Tour Features Multiple Stops

The TMCC online Campus Tour includes 15 stops, along with 20 full 360-degree panoramic images. Extra photographs and videos at tour stop locations are included as supplemental media in the platform.

Tour stops include sights and services students would most likely be interested in at the Dandini Campus, TMCC Meadowood Center, William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center, William N. Pennington Health Science Center, and the Nell J. Redfield Performing Arts Center.

Upon first launching the tour, a virtual guide steps visitors through the navigational tools and the multiple ways to view the tour. There is a clickable Google map at the lower left of the screen that includes street routes to TMCC's sites.

Viewers can also fill out a short form to obtain more information about the College.

“Access, Outreach and Recruitment staff members have graciously volunteered to answer the forms for more information submitted as part of the tour,” Dobbert said during the tour demo that was offered for faculty and staff.

So far, the narration is available in both English and Spanish, but more languages may be added later.

The principal interface was purchased from YouVisit LLC, a global company offering scalable virtual reality platforms.

“Every year, (the vendor) will come out to help us add or update content as needed,” Anderson said. “It will be an interactive, fresh and current experience for virtual explorers to enjoy.”

For more information, please contact the Web Services Office, or view the tour at