Free Google Tour Creator with Street View or 360 camera panoramas

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Create a tour

Use Google Tour Creator to create and publish virtual reality tours. You can use Google Street View panoramas, add your own images from 360 cameras, and annotate the tour with details and facts, to create immersive experiences. Help information here.

You need to have a google account to have tours. Refer help information above for setting up.

In this article it notes: Google says they’ve also seen a lot of interest from the real estate industry, which, not surprisingly, likes the idea of adding easily embeddable 360-degree photos to listings.

It also mentions KML creating tours for training their in-flight attendants on features of specific plane types. A nice idea. 

Process

Start a new tour

Give it a name, a description, and also a cover photo (it will not publish without a photo/image.

Once the tour is created, ADD SCENE. Then you have a choice of a Google Maps Streetview or to upload your own Panorama.

Google Maps Streetview Panorama

Below is process for Google Maps Streetview

Put in Address or use map to find the street location,  rotate scene to the view you want to start with (with mouse) then press the  ADD SCENE at bottom right.

It then asks you for some details, such as Scene Name, Description, Credits . In the Description/Credits box you could put in a URL link to a document such as a PDF site plan or other information. You will need to cut and paste this URL into a browser as it is not an ACTIVE link.

You can also add Points of Interest (POI ) in the image.

Clicking on POI it asks you for a title and description and also allows you to upload a static image or a Sound File

Selecting image you get a pop up box that asks you to select an image from your computer.

After selecting an image (in this case a Screenshot of a PDF of the site plan) it gives you a PREVIEW and then you ADD (button bottom right)

It brings in the image. You can then scale/move the image to where you want it to be

If you move it to the side it looks skewed, but if you rotate the Scene to have the image in the centre then the image will be rectangular.

Clicking off the image  will show you a Picture Icon, which is what others will see when they view the TOUR

You can also just give a title and some information, in which case you will get an “I” icon. You could put URL link data in the description field.

You can add more POI’s if you want to the panorama

360 Panorama from Camera

Tour creator will allow you to upload your own 360 Panorama images.  Select ADD SCENE and then UPLOAD. Then select panorama file on your computer.

It will show you a PREVIEW. Select ADD SCENNE

Give the SCENE a title and other information and add POI as per the Street View Process.

You will see all your Scenes (either from Steetview or what you uploaded) at the bottom of the page.You can then re-order these. These show up as you are creating the TOUR, but for general viewers they only see <Scene 3 of 7> so heir is no indication of what the scene is until you click on them. You could add this to a plan on the first Scene so you can go directly to the Scene (panorama) that you want to view.

  I would suggest you give each scene  a number in order, so you can put a list in the first image or for every information icon, a scene to the linking panorama so you can quickly cycle through to the one you want.

When you PUBLISH your tour it offers you the option of  UNLISTED or PUBLIC. The public tour is available for anyone and the UNLISTED is for only those you share the LINK to the TOUR.

I select Unlisted and PUBLISH

It then gives you a LINK you can share with others via email.

Below is what the view looks like to someone you have sent the link to. All it tells you is the number of scenes and which scene number you are looking at. Not great for wayfinding your way through the building.

Also, in the user view  if you click on the information icon this is what it shows:

For the photo icon it will show you the image to the size you scaled it to with information in bottom left about that image

One thing you can do is put Scene number on the Information Title, so that for the upper deck on image below you know you need to go to Scene 16 to see that Panorama, for the Living room, scene 4 and dining, scene 3. This is one way to navigate through the panoramas.

Not only can you have the TOUR unlisted and send someone a link, but you can also embed the TOUR in your website using the EMBED code after clicking on SHARE ICON.

Embedded TOUR

End Comment

Pros

  • An easy process to follow to setup and display panoramas and make them accessible to others.
  • You can put links in the Description filed to add other information and you can add images (flat 2d including plans) which helps convey other information.
  • You can make the Tours unlisted so they are semi-private (depending on whom shares the links with whom).
  • You can also use the app on site as you are linking with a web page, so as long as you have some mobile connection you have access to the data.
  • Uploading images easy and linking with Streetview is also good.

Cons

  • No linkage between the panoramas so you cannot flow through them.
  • You cannot zoom in on the images, neither can you download them. So you only have the level of detail of the uploaded file. Using the browser zoom just makes the side/bottom panels larger and doesn’t increase the resolution of the panoramas in the zoom area.

A handy tool all in all, and free. I really like the way that it was used for training videos for aircraft. Possibly could be used for Orientation for new staff in buildings, safe exit paths etc. I think it has potential.

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