Google Tour Creator: Simplified Virtual Tour CreationEditor
Google has recently announced a new tool billed for students and educators and “anyone with a story to tell” to do so in a rich, visual interface behind the lenses of their favorite VR viewer. Called Google Tour Creator is a tool designed to create a virtual tour with a set of simple web-based tools. You can use your own 360 photos which you can simply upload from an existing camera — or use existing images from Google Street View instead.
“The technology gets out of the way and enables students to focus on crafting fantastic visual stories,” explains Charlie Reisinger, a school Technology Director in Pennsylvania.
“Being able to work with Tour Creator has been an awesome experience. It has allowed our students from a small town in Georgia to tell our story to the world.” adds Jennifer Newton, a school media coordinator in Georgia.
Tour creator is designed for students and educators, as well as for everyone who wants to create a visual content without having much experience. Now, anyone can build an immersive 360-degree tour from their computer without needing technical knowledge. Instead of passively watching 360-degree videos, teachers and students can actually make their own VR-ready content.
To start, choose the title of your upcoming tour as well as the cover photo you’d like displayed as its preview. Then, all you you need is to upload 360-degree photos, or search directly from Google’s Street View catalog. From there, you can design your tour’s scenes while overlaying still images and text descriptions identifying specific points of interest. These scenes can also contain specialized buttons you click to learn more about the place in your photo.
Once done, the tour can publish to Google’s library of immersive content, Poly. Using From Poly, it’s easy to view and the tour can be shared or embedded into another website for viewing online or with Google Cardboard. Google also plans to add the ability to import tours into the Expeditions application, Google’s platform that allows students to explore locations around the world in 360.