Published: Nov. 19, 2009

MSUís campus in the running to be mapped by Google Street View

Contact(s): Rachael Ruis Communication Arts and Sciences, Brian Vernellis University Relations student writer office: (517) 355-2281

EAST LANSING, Mich – A contest by Web site Google could let people miles away experience the beauty of Michigan State University’s scenic campus via the Internet.

Google Maps wants to add images of a college campus to its popular Street View feature, an application that allows users to view photographs of neighborhoods and streets in a sweeping 360-degree scene.

MSU is one of five universities that users can vote for online at Google to determine which university will be the next one added. If selected, MSU would be one of a few universities in the nation to have its campus featured on Google Maps. The University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University and San Diego State University also can be seen on Street View.

MSU is facing off against Arizona State University, Princeton University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Stanford University. Users can vote as many times as they like on Google Maps until 11:59 PST Nov. 30. (Click here to vote for Michigan State University.)

Usually, Google deploys a car to cruise city streets, snapping photographs that eventually are meshed together to form the 360-degree shots on Street View. For a college campus, Google will send its “Trike,” a bicycle that tows a cart containing a camera to capture the multitude of photographs required.

“I think Michigan State would be a great place to feature with the Google Street View bicycle,” said Jon Whiting, a telecommunications, information studies and media masters student at MSU. “Michigan State's campus is one of the largest in the country with some of the most scenic views. The integration of this technology would benefit visitors and students as they navigate the area.”
The idea for the Street View Trike came from Google Senior Mechanical Engineer Dan Ratner.

“With Street View on Google Maps, you can take a virtual drive over the Golden Gate Bridge or see the bustle of Times Square from the comfort of your own home, but some of the country's most interesting and fun places aren't accessible with our Street View car,” Ratner wrote on the Official Google Blog.

The Street View feature allows users to view panoramic street-level images. Google collects images using special cameras and equipment that capture and match images to a specific location using GPS devices. Once the images are captured, they are composited together to form a 360-degree view.

To view how the Google Street View Trike works, go to