Over the last semester, student interns in Pegasus Creative, OU’s student communications agency, have worked with alumnus Matthew White ’99 to create a mobile campus guide—all while helping to beta test White’s new app. White is the CEO and founder of Whitepoint, a new software platform which allows anyone to create interactive environments which can be viewed through the Whitepoint app, available for iOS and Android devices.
Fellow intern Mon Baroi ’15 and I were able to work directly with a professional to give feedback that had real impact on White’s evolving product. Our feedback directly influenced the app’s overall design, content and interactivity.
Navigating Oglethorpe’s campus through Whitepoint is simple: each environment, or “Scape” (in this case, the Oglethorpe campus), has a series of individual locations, or “Scenes” (think Lupton Hall, Hearst Hall, the quad), which display a high-resolution photo of that particular Scene. Red “Whitepoint” icons (see the image displayed here) indicate highlights are available about the Scene you’re viewing.
Users can easily navigate between Scenes or browse through a comprehensive list of Scenes. Click on a Whitepoint icon, and a window pops up with information specific to that Scene. Say you want to learn more about the Book of Kells in the library: navigate to the “Lowry Hall” Scene, click the Whitepoint near the Book’s location in the library, and a pop-up is triggered complete with a photo of the book and info like “The facsimile housed at Oglethorpe is one of only five in the world.” Cool, right?
White is excited about this opportunity to provide a new way for people to discover more about Oglethorpe. “When I first heard about the need to share views of the campus with prospective students,” White explains, “the core Whitepoint technology was ready, and I mentioned that this technology could help.” As Pegasus Creative collected photos and information about the school and some of its lesser-known features, even White himself learned a few new things about our campus. “Watching the first Oglethorpe University scape evolve, I realized there are interesting things about Oglethorpe’s campus I didn’t know, even though it’s my alma mater!”
So, what does White see in the future of Whitepoint? “…There are some exciting things in the works. The technology of social mapping is still very young, and the market is still working on understanding what social mapping even really is. Much of its direction will rely on the content that authors provide, and authoring is free and open to everyone.” White sees the potential for this app to benefit a wide variety of patrons such as museums, retail stores, real estate, airports, and more, as well as be a perfect virtual campus guide for schools such as Oglethorpe.
The Oglethorpe University Scape is available to the public now. To use, first download the free Whitepoint app to your iPhone or iPad in the App Store, or to your Android device on the Google Play Store. Then, search for Oglethorpe within the app to begin exploring! Also, you can read more about Whitepoint by visiting its website at www.whitepoint.mobi.