David Hiscoe, NCSU Libraries, (919) 513-3425
When the Pack is out roaring around their territory in Raleigh, they will now be able to carry their group history along for the hunt.
In honor of this year’s Founders Day at North Carolina State University, the NCSU Libraries today released WolfWalk, an innovative tool that makes it easy to explore the NC State campus and its history. WolfWalk capitalizes on the location awareness of today’s mobile devices to allow users to give themselves a self-guided historical walk through NC State’s main campus. As users stroll around campus, their mobile devices detect their current locations and then deliver a tour of nearby buildings and other historically interesting locations. Users with devices that don’t support GPS or other location detection, including older iPods, can manually navigate through the site to enjoy a tour of campus.
The initial rollout of the tool provides a brief historical description of over 50 sites on campus and then serves up a range of engaging digitized photographs that shows the site throughout NC State’s history. WolfWalk is available on many current generation smartphone platforms, such as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, and does not require users to download an application. An enhanced version of WolfWalk optimized for iPhones is also in development for availability in the summer of 2010.
The new tool draws on the resources of the University Archives in the NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, a vast array of documents, photos, audio files and other historical materials from the founding of the school up through the present. According to Greg Raschke, associate director for collections and scholarly communication at the Libraries, “as the official repository for the university, our archives have mountains of incredibly interesting material about the history of NC State; this new tool gives us a great way to extend the reach of these materials and to give our donors and the people of North Carolina even more value for the history we collect for them.”
Long a pioneer in the development of digital libraries, the NCSU Libraries released NCSU Libraries Mobile late last year to provide students, faculty, and researchers with “a library in your pocket.” “Mobile technologies,” explains Susan Nutter, vice provost and director of the NCSU Libraries, “will become increasingly central to successful twenty-first century learning and research spaces, allowing students and researchers to maintain flexible, constant, on-the-go contact with the collections and the staff of tomorrow’s libraries. With WolfWalk, we are delighted to continue in our role as technology incubator for both NC State and for the research libraries across the globe.”
In honor of Founders Day, the NCSU Libraries has also released an enhanced version of its Historical State web site to make it even easier for scholars, alumni, and the general public to explore and enjoy the history, personalities, and culture of NC State University.
Built to provide easy web access to the University Archives held by the Libraries, Historical State opens a digital window into everything from the Model T’s lined up outside Riddick Field during its construction in 1933, to a 1950 recording of the Alma Mater, to photos of the 1955 cheerleading squad, to the 1968 undergraduate catalog.