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Alumnus provides virtual glimpse of OU's college town

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Alumnus provides virtual glimpse of OU's college town

Search for the City of Rochester online and you are likely to several Web sites providing information about the city. But OU alumnus Jason Ryan, CAS ’99, is working to bring Rochester’s Web presence to a new level. Founding partner and vice president of sales at Virtualeyes, Ryan is helping to create a virtual map of Rochester for people interested in visiting the city.

Rochester offers countless shopping centers, restaurants, recreation areas and entertainment venues. Oakland University and the city of Rochester developed a partnership in 2003 that recognizes Rochester as OU’s college town. Through the partnership, OU participates in city events and offers myriad job opportunities and internships for students within Rochester.

Virtualeyes designs virtual maps and destination guides that can help those looking into the area discover the variety of locations that make the location unique.

“Our program allows everyone to access information on anything, including restaurants, schools, business and so on, complete with pictures, contact information and driving directions all in one Web site,” Ryan said.

Ryan said Virtualeyes benefits future students and their families before they ever visit campus. Students from the next county over to around the world can learn more about OU’s surrounding area without leaving their house.

Ryan majored in communication while at Oakland. He said his experiences at Oakland were “unforgettable” and stated, “It still amazes me when I am on campus how much OU has grown since I graduated.” Each year, Ryan participates in the athletic department’s golf outing. In the future, he’d like to help OU in another way — with a virtual tour of campus that can be added to Virtualeyes’ portfolio of directories.

Virtualeyes’ projects span across Michigan. One of the latest projects is a detailed 3-D map of and guide to Ford Field in Detroit. The guide allows online visitors to see the actual view of the field from each seat in the stadium. The company plans to expand beyond Michigan in the future to provide comprehensive destination guides for popular vacation spots around the world.

For more information on the Rochester model or any of Virtualeyes’ other destinations, visit www.cplanet.com.