Affordable 360-degree Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours from £135

A 360-degree virtual tour gives your potential customers a chance to look around your business using their PC or a smartphone, and, Google Maps Street View. Have a look at some examples:

  1. 360 Photo Gallery page (single images)
  2. Virtual Tours Gallery page (multiple connected images)


Street View tour. Drag the image to move around, click the arrows to move through the tour

Why should you get a 360-deg Virtual Tour?

  1. Showcase what you sell or do
  2. Reveal the wider range of products and services you offer
  3. Transparency: Show that you have nothing to hide
  4. Engage your customers by satisfying their curiosity
  5. Circumvent health and safety: Let people see what’s going on without needing a hard hat.
  6. Documenting/Archiving: Keep an illustrated record
  7. Insurance: Show how things were
  8. Safety: If you need more than a map

How do I make a 360-deg Virtual Tour?

  1. I visit your business
  2. I take photos using my 360-degree camera.
  3. Off site, I check, and if necessary, edit the location and quality of every image
  4. I orientate and connect the images together into a tour
  5. I upload the images to Google Street View
  6. After 24-48 hours, the virtual tour is available to anyone using Google Maps and Google Street View
  7. Google Street View images can be embedded on your website (such as the example above)̣ Details here.
  8. You can also host your virtual tour on your web site, in your content management system (WordPress, Drupal and Joomla), and a single panoramas can be uploaded to Facebooḳ

Best practices

  1. It is best to visit your business when visitor numbers are low, as we’d want to take a photo with no-one else in the room
  2. Rooms should be well lit.
  3. Photos are taken with a camera on a tripod, and a remote (so we can get out of shot)
  4. Photos are taken 1-10m apart

Potential issues

  1. Your 360-degree virtual tour is hosted on Google Maps/Street View. It generally works well.
  2. You can embed a Google tour on your own website (as you can see above). Details here.
  3. Google determines the initial orientation of any image people find via Google Maps/Street View. Currently this can not be changed, so it could be a view of a wall, or, if it is an outside shot, a photo of your competition!
  4. Our 360-deg images are about 100 megapixels, with a full 360-deg field of view horizontally and vertically.
  5. If you rotate an image and look downwards towards the nadir, you may see either (a) parts of the tripod stand, and/or the photographer (b) Our attempts to edit out the tripod/photographer (c) Our logo. This part of the imge may not be perfect.

Technical information

  1. Camera used: XPhase Pro S, which uses 25 lenses to make 100 megapixels (14000 x 7000) images
  2. In order to get the photos to connect properly, Google recommends that outside photos are taken about 3 metres apart, and inside photos about 1 metre apart. But we have been successful with image that are 10m apart
  3. A shoot takes about five minutes per photo. It might take longer if there are lots of people around, it might be quicker if everything works first time.
  4. I won’t do an outdoor shoot if
    1. It is raining, as there will be raindrops on the lens that distort the images, and your business won’t look as good as it could be
    2. It is too windy; the tripod can blow over or wobble too much.
  5. Post editing of the images (I mainly use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop) takes up to four times as much time again, and may include:
    1. Reducing the light level of over-exposured highlights
    2. Boosting the light levels of shadows
    3. Tweaking the white, black, colours, and overall exposure
    4. Increasing the colour temperature for warmth
    5. Checking that the seams between the image from different lenses have not produced a visible seam
    6. Checking and blurring out inappropriate imagery (eg. license plates, faces of the public, anything that may be considered offensive)
  6. Pano2VR software enables the creation of your virtual tour, including:
    1. Checking that the horizon of each image is levelled correctly
    2. Checking that the location of each image is correct
    3. Specifying links between image panoramas
    4. Associating your virtual tour with your business
    5. Optionally adding descriptive labels (eg. kitchen department)
    6. Optionally adding floor levels (eg. Ground floor, first floor)
    7. Uploading your virtual tour to Google Maps
  7. Once your tour has been uploaded to Google Maps, it typically takes 24-48 hours before your image appear, and a further 24 hours before the links start working. It has been known to take a few hours, or a week or so. Sometimes, Google Maps does not connect the odd image, which is beyond our control.
  8. After you have viewed your tour, I am happy to make some corrections (eg. a face that has not been blurred), but if a bottle of fizzy drink accidentally gets into shot, I probably won’t remove it!
  9. I am not responsible for issues caused by Google, so if Google Maps or part of your tour becomes unavailable, we’ll just have to wait until it is fixed. I will of course investigate, and do my best to resolve such issues.
  10. If it doubt, ask!

Costs

Description Cost
360-deg virtual tour £20 per image
Travelling time
30 mins free travel per 10 image
£20 per 30 minutes
Add your company logo to the nadir of each image £40

 

Google Street View trusted
Google Street View
Trusted Photographer
.
Ian Tresman - Local Guide
Local Guide – Level 8
Over 28 million views
Over 35,000 points