HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University Information Technology (IT) team members have created the beginnings of the Marshall University Google Earth 3-D Campus, according to Dr. Jan I. Fox, senior vice president for information technology/CIO at Marshall.

Google Earth is a mapping program that combines satellite imagery and aerial photographs with 3-D capability. Anyone with Internet access can explore his or her hometown, Rome or Marshall University.

Fox said Bethany Cremeans, Anna Banks and Hengdan Ge, armed with digital cameras, Adobe Photoshop and Google Sketchup, a 3-D computer modeling tool, have been working on the project.

"Marshall University is using a multitude of resources to attract the best and brightest from our nation and state," Fox said.

Dr. James Leonard, a geography professor at Marshall, and James Wolfe with the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences (CEGAS), also have provided input into the project. In addition to the 3-D drawings of buildings, each location includes a description as well as possible videos of what happens in that location.

The 3-D buildings serve a variety of functions. They can be viewed by prospective Marshall University students who may be too far away for an actual visit. New buildings can be drawn up and placed on Google Earth to give an idea of what those buildings will ultimately look like.

Marshall's new student recreation center, residence halls and engineering lab, all of which are either under construction or will be soon, will be added to give everyone an idea of what is coming. People needing more information about where a campus building is located can even reference it before visiting the campus in person.

The buildings were created using Google's free Sketchup software and they were uploaded to the Google Earth Warehouse. Now that they are uploaded, they are awaiting review and accuracy checking by Google. After the graphics are reviewed, they become part of the Google Earth application. Tolga Yalniz, another IT member, has recreated the MU Virtual Tour to include Google Earth.

Marshall Google Earth 3-D can be found at: http://www.marshall.edu/it/virtual-tour/google-earth-3d-tour/.

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