The BYU Store launched a Google Street View virtual tour of the store and other iconic locations on campus last month.
Project leader Chris Layton, a senior business management and marketing major, came up with the idea from his summer internship.
“I created a similar virtual tour for American Family Insurance, and I saw value in creating an indoors virtual tour to map out the new department locations in the BYU Store,” Layton said.
The BYU Store recently rebranded, and Layton explained how they carefully photographed the new logos and departments to give people an idea of what has changed.
Layton decided to expand the project to include other noteworthy places on and around campus while capturing the store images.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we could also capture some iconic spots around campus and link them all together?” Layton thought. “We received permission from BYU to take the sphere pictures around campus, and all that was left was getting permission to go to places like on top of the SWKT.”
The BYU Store’s project did not cover every inch of campus. Most of campus was captured in 2007 when Google Street View drove through campus, but Layton wanted to capture those hard-to-reach places like the court in the Marriott Center, the duck pond on the south side of campus and areas around Y Mountain.
“My hope is that students and faculty will not only enjoy a Google Street View of cool spots around campus but that they will be inspired to go visit areas where they may have never been before,” he said.
Layton and his project partner, BYU student Luke Einfeldt, hopes the project will allow students, faculty and alumni to also experience places with restricted access like the LaVell Edwards Stadium field and the top of the Spencer W. Kimball Tower.
The process was relatively simple and completely free. Layton captured the majority of the photos on his phone, tagged them with BYU locations and then awaited approval from the Google Street View team. Layton said he even hid a bag of the famous BYU Store chocolate-covered cinnamon bears throughout some of the store shots.
“I got hungry looking at those delicious bears, and the bag only made it in a handful of the pictures,” Layton said.
Einfeldt said he believes this virtual tour will help visitors and future BYU students explore the campus and surrounding areas a little more.
“The virtual tour project has been a great way for me to connect to campus on a personal level, and I believe that it will be a great resource to visitors and future BYU students to do the same,” Einfeldt said.
Certain departments are already using the tour to show visitors and potential students a preview of campus. All 71 locations of the virtual tour are online through Google Street View, and the main locations can be found here.