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Category Archives: 360 virtual tours

One 360 panorama is more then a thousand photo´s.

Take a Closer Look at Google Business Photos

 Google Business Photos

By Angela West, PCWorld

If you want potential customers to get a 360-degree, panoramic view of your brick-and-mortar business when they click on any of your listings in Google, its new Business Photos campaign makes its listings for business more interactive. To that end, the search giant is pairing its own certified “Trusted Photographers” with businesses that want to show off their interiors to the public.


While including these photos in your Google Maps listing and Google Places page is extremely helpful for someone wanting to find out more about your business, it will really matter in your search engine results. When someone does a search and your listing comes up first, Google pinpoints the business on a map, offers its existing street view photo, and gives the option to look inside the business if interior pictures exist.

[Click to enlarge] Interior photos appear next to a company’s Google listing.Interior photos appear next to a company’s Google listing.Hiring a Trusted Photographer

To get started, go to this page, select a Trusted Photographer, and hire them. Google certifies photographers but lets them set their own prices. The photographer will get you to fill out a service agreement, which spells out that while you own the images, you are licensing them to Google for its use.

If you want to hire one of Google’s Trusted Photographers, you may be waiting a while. The city selection is a bit thin, as are the current number of photographers. If there is no Trusted Photographer in your city, apply here and Google will notify you when one becomes available. You can apply to have your business photographed anywhere in the world.

Once you hire a Trusted Photographer, you don’t have a final say on how the photos will look on Google’s website. Blur out employees’ faces and other items if you have privacy concerns once the pictures are on Google by hitting the “Report a Problem” button under the image in question.

You can embed the photos and panoramas on Facebook, your company website, and your Google+ page by following the instructions here.

A Trusted Photographer’s Snapshot of the Program

I spoke to one of the Trusted Photographers on the list, Bryan Tan of Bryan Tan Photography. Google contacted him back in November to be a part of the pilot program, and he’s had a lot of interest from businesses. So far, he’s photographed a few restaurants that haven’t gone on the site yet, a hair salon, and a metaphysical antique shop.

Shop around with this embedded panoramoic photo. Click to view larger size.

While Trusted Photographers quote each business individually for photo rates, the price is largely based on square footage and how cluttered the space is. The more panoramas a photographer has to shoot, the higher the price. But businesses with a larger square footage shouldn’t be afraid, says Bryan.

“An auto body shop with a 7000 square-foot shop contacted me to see what the cost would be, and I priced them comparably to a 1000 square-foot restaurant because I only needed to take one panoramic shot of their wide-open shop space.”

Bryan also said the Trusted Photographer program isn’t ideal for businesses that like to control every aspect of their brand image, since they have no say over which pictures end up on Google’s listings. However, businesses can ask for some pictures or the entire photo shoot to be removed from Google after the fact.

Google’s Business Photos make a great opportunity for exposure, particularly if you have an attractive restaurant or beautifully designed showroom that you want to show off.

To sweeten the deal, Google is offering a $100 incentive for free AdWords promotions to help small business owners offset the cost of hiring one of its approved photographers.

Becoming a Trusted Photographer

If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a Trusted Photographer, sign up here. Google isn’t publicizing the requirements to get its stamp of approval, although it does talk about the technologies and techniques in which a Trusted Photographer is trained. A Trusted Photographer not only needs photographic acumen, but the technical expertise to upload files in the correct format and layout.

Tan confirms that the photographic methods used are similar to maknig real estate panoramas, although using proprietary Google software. Google’s tools are free its Trusted Photographers, and there’s no charge to be part of the program.

Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She’s written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.

via pcworld

New 360 degrees video technology

360video  technology



Go to the tour website

IT is one of the most exciting developments in digital photography and it’s being made right here in WA.

Called 360 degree video or virtual video, it is an interactive moving film version of the virtual tour commonly used on tourism or real estate websites.

Instead of seeing just what the camera “sees”, users can scroll up, down, left or right to see what they want to see in a particular scene.

Unlike its predecessor, virtual video uses sophisticated custom-designed technology to give viewers the sense they are actually walking or flying through a location.

Bunbury photographer John Copeland has been making virtual videos for the past three years but has only recently been able to share his work thanks to the rest of the world catching up.

Mr Copeland also recently shot a virtual video of the Margaret River bushfires which destroyed more than 40 properties last month.

“Virtual video’s only really been available online in the last six months because of internet speeds, although we have been able to do it probably over the last two to three years,” Mr Copeland said.

“There was no way of showing it online before that. We were just sort of waiting for the right time to spring it online.”

Mr Copeland said he started playing around with video technology several years ago while he was working in the UK but stopped when he realised “the internet was holding” him back.

Internet speeds, he explained, were not fast enough to accommodate the technology used to show the 360 degree videos.
Then a few years ago, after he had returned to WA, he began exploring it again and began designing the specialised equipment and software needed to create these interactive “tours”.

Now three years on, Pixelcase, his company, which also has offices in England and Canada, is in high demand following the success of their first 360 video of Nimmo Bay resort in Vancouver which clocked up more than 25 million hits.

“Things just kind of snowballed from there. The interest has been pretty great,” Mr Copeland said.

His company, which is one of only a handful that is capable of producing the virtual videos, have also filmed projects in London, Paris, Madrid, New York as well as every Australian state and recently just completed the Official Virtual tour of Eiffel Tower.

by Emily Moulton

Tourism photography website aims to project distinct beauty of Kerala

Kerala,India virtual tours

A screen grab from that shows a view of the Varkala beach when viewed in full-screen.

With the online media scaling greater heights at a rapid rate, the fruits of such progressive leaps are yet to be fully reaped by the tourism industry of the state., a tourism photography website, aims to fill the existing void to a significant extent by projecting the varied and distinct beauty of Kerala in all its splendour through 360 degree virtual reality photography.

The website features a host of interactive 360 degree panoramic images of as many as 80 tourism spots and 20 major cities across the state. Siril Thomas, the creative director and photographer of the website, points out that efforts have been made to convey the realistic feel of viewing the locations for netizens from anywhere in the world. “There has not been a portal that has managed to incorporate the visual beauty of our charming tourist destinations along with a comprehensive logistical database for visiting such places. Pieces of information regarding getting to such areas have remained scattered and this has resulted in daunting tasks for those planning vacations.

In order to lessen the burden of tourists, would display relevant details including those regarding accommodation facilities including resorts and homestays, house boats, and approved tour operators. The distance between a specific tourist destination and a nearby city can also be understood in the website. Several search options have also been activated for the benefit of the users,” he says.

The website is also being developed to include 360 degree panoramic images of the interiors of accommodation facilities so as to enlighten the prospective visitor. Discussions in this regard have commenced with the managements of a few resorts and homestays, says Siril.

Siril has been supported by Syama Mohan, the content manager, and Sambhu Dayal, the website’s designer in the venture. The project has consumed nearly seven months so far and will continue to expand, according to Siril.

He also points out that talks are progressing with the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) in order to incorporate the facilities offered by website to the official portal of the Tourism department. The website was launched by Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar at a function held here on Friday.

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Experience travel in 3-D, no silly glasses required

3d travel experience without…


Ever wonder what it’s like to trek to Mount Everest? Unless you’ve got a month of vacation and a big bank account, the next best answer may soon be sitting right in front of you.

Opening to the public on Saturday, Journey to Everest promises to bring Nepal to your computer screen via interactive 3-D. Along the way, the program offers a glimpse into the future of virtual tours.

The Journey was created by Singapore-based 3rd Planet Pte. Ltd. as a portal and marketing tool for the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). “[This] enables us to showcase our country in a totally new dimension,” said NTB CEO Prachanda Man Shrestha in a statement.

Or several. After registering (free) on the 3rd Planet website, users can explore Kathmandu, navigate around Tribhuvan Airport and fly over the Himalaya to the town of Lukla. Right-click your mouse to activate “fly-through” mode and the scenes get surprisingly realistic.

In Kathmandu, for example, users can walk the streets, peer around corners, even pass through the exterior columns of the Chyasim Deval temple in Patan Durbar Square. (Careful, it takes some coordination not to walk into the walls.) Later, in a scene straight out of “Lost Horizon,” you can ride along as a prop plane works its way over the mountains to the remote town of Lukla.

For now, that’s where the journey ends with the rest of the trek to Everest expected to go live next year. Even so, 3rd Planet CEO Terence Mak believes interactive 3-D travel is ready for prime time. “Pictures and words don’t do justice to a location,” he told “Of all the various ways of remembering information, the human mind remembers it best through experience.”

Others in the industry appear to agree. Last year, 3D Travel of Honolulu launched 3-D portals that combine Google Earth imagery with travel-specific information for Hawaii and Las Vegas.

For Sin City, for example, users can fly along a videogame-like representation of the Strip, ducking under the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, following along the roller coaster at New York New York and passing through the fountains at Bellagio. Sidebars let users get more information on hotels, shows and other attractions and, in select cases, make immediate bookings.

The company expects to launch a similar offering for San Francisco in January.

Whether as a marketing platform or booking tool, interactive 3-D travel is still in its infancy. However, it’s likely to become more common as the technology improves, more destinations opt in and more people incorporate tablets and other mobile devices into their travel planning.

“There’s a lot more planning going on with iPads and other tablets,” said Norm Rose of Travel Tech Consulting Inc. “The more you can give people an opportunity to experience the virtual world, the more it will encourage actual travel to those destinations.”

Or, as Mak puts it, “We live in a 3-D world and the best way to understand a destination is in 3-D.”
source: By Rob Lovitt,