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Getting to Know UH "Virtually"
by Wendy Krause

The prospective student who considers attending the University of Hawaii knows that visiting one of the campuses for a tour may not be very convenient. This holds especially true if the student would need to travel thousands of miles over land and sea. Statistics show that by 1998, 78% of high school seniors were checking out prospective colleges online - a huge jump from the only 4% who were doing so in 1996. In fact, many college seekers are using online virtual tours to determine which campuses they will actually visit. With potential students seeking virtual tours online as a way to review colleges, ITS has put together our own online tours to provide visitors with a good look around - and an idea of what to expect in person.

The UH virtual tour site at www.hawaii.edu/vtour provides images and information about the University of Hawaii (first targeting the Manoa campus) that would be useful for both prospective and current students. The site features guided virtual tours and covers several specialized areas including New Student Orientation, the campus walking tour, where to find food, the Athletics Department, and student residence halls. A quick building locator is included for the convenience of those who simply need to find one particular place. Along with the guided tours and the building locator, the site also provides links to other UH virtual tours, local Hawaii tour sites, the interactive campus map, and other informational pages.

In offering this tour site to our visitors, we hope to meet the needs of those who prefer to become "virtually" familiar with our campus before physically coming here. We also hope to acquaint those who take the tours with the programs, facilities, and beauty that our campus has to offer.

With the addition of a new site such as this comes the challenge of keeping it in step with the ever-changing landscape of technology. We are already working on adding features, as well as improving the current offerings. One of our future plans is to work with other UH campuses to include tours of their facilities on the site as well. Be on the lookout for more virtual tour news!

Any feedback, comments, or campuses interested in participating may contact webhead@hawaii.edu.

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