Payton Potter may only be a sophomore with the South Carolina equestrian program, but she’s already working behind the scenes to try and help the program long term, and not just with what she can do while riding a horse. The Woodland Hills, California, native developed an instant app for the team that can help fans and future student-athletes learn about the Gamecock program and its facilities at One Wood Farm in Blythewood.
“We’ve developed a web application through ArcGIS to do a virtual tour of the farm,” said Potter who is an environmental studies major. “It’s stands for Geographic Information Systems and it’s a program basically for mapping. There is an app called Field Maps which allowed me to collect the data in real time, so I walked around the Farm and hand-mapped it and transferred it into these layers I created with ArcGIS. I was the ‘Google Maps’ car basically walking all around the Farm. It took me a few hours, and some of the dogs would just follow me around. The horses seemed to really like it when I was taking their pictures.
“It basically takes you on a virtual tour of the Farm.”
Potter put it all together, added photos, and provided descriptions to give users a real experience of what is available for the Gamecock student-athletes.
“We discussed it with (head) Coach Boo (Major), and she would like to use it for recruiting,” Potter said. “It’s hard to have people come out and visit the Farm, especially with COVID in recent years. We think it would be helpful for people to look at it before coming on a visit. A lot of schools don’t have really in-depth photos of their facility.”
Potter came up with the idea after taking a Geography class at South Carolina, and one of the labs for the class had them doing a very basic version of her idea.
“I’m super technology-challenged, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be,” Potter said. “I would like to thank Dr. Tara Remington who taught my geography class and supervised my original project.”
“I just thought it would be really important for people to see where we practice and compete so it could help bring in new people in the future.”
Potter worked with the Geography Department at South Carolina to finish the project and make it available to the public so anyone interested can essentially get a full view of the facility.
Potter, who aspires to do an internship at the Australia Zoo one day, is not a stranger to having her academic and outdoor interests bleed over to her athletics career as she previously helped start the recycling program at One Wood Farm. While time-consuming, dedicating time to this particular project was something that was very important to Potter.
“I feel like I have really good time management skills,” Potter said. “I wanted to do this for my team, and it was also a final project for a class that I just ended up developing to the next level.
“I really enjoyed walking around the Farm and seeing everything. Our coaches and staff were really helpful.”
Once accessing the application, users will find a satellite view of the Farm and it provides a complete tour of the indoor and outdoor arenas, locker room, pastures and more.
“There are different symbols for each feature,” Potter explained. “Some are national park symbols. You can click on anything, and it takes you right to it. Or you can just do a slideshow of the whole thing.”
Now that the project is available, Potter is excited not just for future student-athletes and parents to use but also fans who will be coming to town when South Carolina hosts the SEC Tournament March 24-25.
“It would be great for people to see where they are going before they get here,” Potter said. “I just thought it would be really important for people to see where we practice and compete so it could help bring in new people in the future. I think we have one of the best barns in the NCEA. It has a very ‘homey’ feel to it, and I want future people on our team to see it. I think it’s really important.
“I’m glad that I can have this really great major, do all my environmental stuff, and be a part of this team where I still get to ride and be a part of that, and also that I have my horse (Scuba) here. I’m glad to be at a place where all of this is possible!”
To view the instant app, click here.