UCLA Virtual Tour Guide is a web-based mobile app that I created to help prospective college students better remember all of the different college visits they go on, allowing them to make a more informed college decision.
I started College Visit Co. in June 2017 because I felt like there was a large gap between the college tours being offered at UCLA and the actual experience of being a student there. Being a student at UCLA, I figured that I was uniquely positioned to share my perspective on what things real students actually see, eat, and do. I thought such content would help visitors have an experience that would be more consistent with what students would actually experience if they chose to attend UCLA. Even though I’m happy with the result of the e-book guides that CVCo. published, they don’t directly help people—when they are trying to choose a college or university—remember the unique experiences they had months before.I wanted to create an app that would be like a college visit partner that would accompany you on all your college visits and help you document your visit so that you could better remember the schools.
At the time, I was taking a class called “Network Media,” and one of the project prompts gave me the opportunity to test this idea out:
High School students starting to visit colleges would download the Virtual Tour App. Anytime that they entered a college campus, the app would launch, and they could choose either a guided or unguided tour. The guided tour would use your location to guide you from location to location surprising you with the next destination. Each destination would have relevant information and a photo-op prompt where you could take a selfie or a general photo to help you remember that part of the tour. At the end of the tour, or whenever you exit campus (whichever comes first), you’re presented with an album for that campus containing all the images that you captured during your trip.
When the time to make a decision rolls around, students can look back through all of their albums from college visits and make sure that they have all the information possible to choose the right school for them, not necessarily just the most memorable one.
I used p5.js to create this quick prototype because it has easy-to-use geolocation package, image capture capabilities, and my professor was the creator!
Surprisingly, the most challenging part of the project was the realtime navigation arrow, which required calculating the angle between the position of the user and the coordinates of the next point, then compensating for the rotation of the device and updating as the user moves towards the target.
Let me know what you think of this project in the comments and find other projects here!