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Tour Answers: What is Smith Like?

The Wall Street Journal recently noted that 70 percent of all college-bound high school students begin their college search on the Web, and that “virtual tours come in second only to actual campus visits in luring students.”

The Smith College virtual tour utilizes music, narration, photos and text to highlight different aspects of the campus.

A new feature—an online tour of Smith—now debuting on the college’s Web site utilizes music, narration, photos and text to answer the question, “What is Smith like?”

The Smith tour was designed to provide a vibrant, interactive experience for prospective students who may be interested in Smith; a virtual “visit” for students who may not otherwise be able to come to campus in person; and a showcase for the college’s scenic and architectural features. More than just galleries of building images, the tour gives visitors a self-guided way of learning about the aspects of Smith that interest them the most.

Following an overview of images, audio and music, visitors can choose from four “tours,” each highlighting a different aspect of the campus. Each tour begins with a slide show featuring student quotes, and leads to a number of thematic categories. “A Sense of Place” gives an overview of the campus, Northampton and the Five Colleges, while “The Learning Environment” details the college’s academic facilities. “Living at Smith” features the house system, and “Community Life” highlights the college’s facilities for student activities, athletics, and religious and cultural life. The tours feature images, text and 360-degree panoramas of the campus.

A highlight of the tour is a new interactive map, which serves as a way-finding tool but also contains details about campus buildings and a search tool. Each building description includes photographs and, as appropriate, direct links to Web sites of interest to visitors—for example, museum hours. A regional and local map were added in response to requests from prospective students who were unfamiliar with the area.

The tour was designed to be extendable, and will continue to grow and change as content is added. An overview video, based on the recruiting video produced for admission, will be added this fall, along with additional panoramas.

Take the tour at

8/10/07   By John Eue
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