Higher Education Marketing

Visit McMaster Campus With Google Street View

Date posted: January 17, 2012

McMaster University has become the first Canadian university campus to be included in Google’s Street View project. Google staff mapped the McMaster Campus walkways last July with a car and tricycle.

Google Maps Trike

The bike was specially modified with a camera system that allowed them to take 360-degree, street-level photographic imagery from roads and paths (visible faces and license plates are blurred-out in Street View). Only one other school (Durham College) has been included in the Street View project so far.  There are only 27 schools in the U.S. on Street View.

Gord Arbeau, McMaster University’s public and community relations director, says Google Maps first approached the university because of the “natural beauty” of its walkways, and pedestrian-friendly campus. Clearly, this presents interesting marketing avenues for McMaster, with Arbeau convinced that it is a “great opportunity for us to showcase McMaster and Hamilton to the world.”

Working in conjunction with a comprehensive social media plan, this sort of resource will give prospective and current students, parents, staff and alumni (and anyone else in your target audience) the chance to tour the campus without leaving their homes.

“Real pictures of real places that are carefully located on a map are really a valuable important piece of information, so in some ways you can think of it as an extension of the normal Google search,” said Daniel Ratner, a Google engineer. It’s a very powerful tool, in other words, and it will no doubt become a much bigger part of education marketing in the future. McMaster University, in fact, has already incorporated Street View into the McMaster website.

Even if your school has yet to get to this point, your school should be using Google Maps and local search best practices. Using these resources properly will establish what your key markets are and help position your website on major search engines. This will help attract prospective students, alumni and more from target cities in Canada, the US, and abroad.

Click here to see McMaster University on Google Maps Street View.

Do you think Google Maps Street View will one day be a fundamental aspect of education marketing?

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