Google brings Street View to campus

By Hristina Mangelova ’16

Google wants a piece of Hamilton. Can we really blame them? Who could resist those gorgeous campus greens, the breathtaking Chapel and the unique mixture of Beaux-arts classicism, Colonial revival and Contemporary architecture? Or maybe Google heard that Hamilton  was ranked #14 in the this year’s edition of US News and World Report’s ranking of Liberal Arts Colleges...

Last Thursday, Google’s Street View car, carrying several computers, stuck cameras, lasers and a GPS device, traversed College Hill Road and captured multiple photographs that will eventually be compiled and imaged into interactive, 360-degree panoramas. This type of modeling will allow anyone to virtually navigate through the campus as if he or she were here, a feature that will be especially beneficial for prospective students who do not have the opportunity to visit Hamilton.

According to Jesse Thomas, ITS Network/Systems Administrator, it will take between four and six months before the captured imagery goes live. The colleges that are currently featured on Google Street View  include Boston University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Stanford University and Washington University, among others.

Google Street View is a technological feature of Google Maps and Google Earth that can provide you with a panoramic view from all continents. Put simply, you can stroll down Champs-Élysées, zoom in and out of Golden Gate Park or stare in awe at Time Square’s flashiness— all at the click of a mouse. If you decide you want to visit the Galapagos Islands while in line for mac and cheese in Commons, simply download the Google Maps application for your iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows or Google phone.

How to use Hamilton’s Google Street View:

1. By early February, when there will be so much snow so few rays of sunshine that we’ll be asking ourselves “Was there ever any sun?” simply open Google Street View and stroll down a snow-less and sunny Martin’s Way.

2. Shoot a message to your friends near and far bragging about how beautiful Hamilton is! Now you have the panoramic, photographic evidence to prove it.

3. Feeling nostalgic during summer break? Can’t wait to come back after a semester or a year abroad? Maybe a virtual walk around the Glen will make you feel better.

4. Look for Hamilton’s “Easter Eggs.” You’ll be amazed how many funny, embarrassing and shocking moments the street view has captured.

5.  Everyone says that Hamilton is small, but can you identify the blurred faces of your peers on street view?  Put your facial recognitions to the test!

Other ways to explore using Google Street View:

1. Visit Everest Base Camp or Mount Kilimanjaro

2. Practice your Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese or Spanish. Google Street View is available in all 11 languages (and English, of course), plus there is a Romanian beta version.

3. Take a peek at places you’ve never heard of before (like Plovdiv, Bulgaria, ranked third of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world) and decide for yourself if you want to make the trek IRL.


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