Showing that having a strong online presence is about more than just SEO, South Yorkshire higher education institution The University of Sheffield has become the world’s first building of its kind to be navigable via Google Street View.
Users of Google Maps can now enter the University’s Hicks Building and scour corridors, glide through automatic doors and peruse facilities of the physics-oriented building. It is even possible to enjoy an aerial view of Sheffield by clambering up onto the building’s roof – an act that would usually incur the wrath of the grumpy old dean unfailingly present at every university.
The system works in much the same fashion as Google’s regular Street View techniques for navigating roads, with users needing to reach the entrance of the buildings and click the chevrons by the doors to virtually enter them.
Six other buildings at Sheffield have been given the Street View treatment as the University looks to up its online game, all of which has prompted Professor Paul White, a pro-vice-chancellor at Sheffield, to enthuse:
“The digital world is the future. Online education provides a means for the University of Sheffield to engage with learners from around the world and in circumstances we would otherwise never be able to reach out too.”
The idea potentially paves the way for other institutions and businesses to allow the online navigation system to enter their premises. Businesses and educators who want to promote their location as a happy and productive place to work and learn might want to get the Google cameras through the doors of their locations to add a unique factor to their internet marketing campaign.