Go 'Back in Time' with Virtual Campus Tour
A new virtual tour lets members of the Tech community transport themselves back in time to see what their favorite places on campus once looked like.
The Back in Time map tour is now available at map.gatech.edu and provides historical photos and context for more than 40 locations around campus. Users can navigate their way through campus and enjoy century-old photos of Bobby Dodd Stadium and the campus core, along with mid-century views of Tech Square.
“We looked at old photographs of the past and present and were fascinated by them,” said Chris Walker, assistant director of marketing for Professional Education, who was part of the Staff Council’s Campus Physical Environment Committee at the time. Though Walker has been at Georgia Tech for seven years, he was unfamiliar with many of the historical photos and stories.
Six members of the committee integrated archival photos into the online campus map (which also has a Gardens and Greens Tour, Admissions Tour, and High Performance Building Tour — all found under the "Tours" tab). The group has spent the past two years researching, compiling photos, and gathering historical data from a variety of sources, including the Living History Program, Georgia Tech Archives, Capital Planning and Space Management (CPSM), and Georgia State University Archives.
CPSM and Institute Communications provided access to the map interface. Though the project started with the Georgia Tech Staff Council, it was made to benefit all of campus.
“Every once in a while, we’d share what we were doing with someone, and they would love it,” Walker said. “When we got that reaction, we realized that if we did this right, it could be really neat.”
As they worked on the project, Walker enjoyed seeing people connect with different photos. Some were most riveted by images around the football stadium, while others marveled at the progress of Tech Square.
“We covered a lot of ground, so hopefully a lot of people can see something that relates to them,” Walker said. The interactive tour is set up as a walking journey for those who want to experience it that way — but, with it encompassing all of campus, Walker advised it might be best consumed in smaller pieces.
While the map features many photos, the team realizes it is not comprehensive. They hope to continue adding images in the future. [Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
The Staff Council’s primary function is to provide a formal voice for Georgia Tech staff members to communicate their perspectives with campus leadership, and to advocate for staff-related issues. Benefits of participating include the acquisition of skills in new areas and the opportunity to meet fellow staff members you may not work with otherwise.
“My office is in Tech Square, and after working here for several years, I wanted to meet new people,” said Walker, who oversees a team that markets Professional Education’s M.S. programs to prospective students. “Joining the Campus Physical Environment Committee introduced me to people from Space Planning, Facilities, and other departments — people I’d never intersect with if not for this group.”
Take the tour for yourself at map.gatech.edu.