How do you make a Google 360 tour?
There are 4 simple steps:
What steps do I need to take to get a tour?
1. Can you explain the whole photography procedure?
The 360 photography begins outside (sidewalk, parking lot, in front of the business address, etc) and then moves inside. Weather is an important consideration to make when scheduling the shoot (unless of course, the business doesn’t need any outside photography)
The photo shoot consists of placing the camera (on a tripod) at various locations within the business and then taking a series of photographs. Each spot or step is a viewing position within the completed 360 degree virtual tour.
Generally, the camera is placed every 5 to 10 foot increments along the path of the tour. The camera rests at each spot and is rotated to capture the full 360 degree view of that one step. Each of these panoramic steps take about 2 to 5 minutes to photograph, and the time to complete the entire project depends upon the total number of views ordered. Typically it takes less than an hour to photograph most business locations.
Additional regular pictures (non 360 images) can be taken by the photographer when all the 360 photos have been captured. It’s important to let the photographer know at time of booking of your final picture list in order for the photographer to allot the amount of time needed to complete the entire shoot.
2. What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot?
Simply walk through your own business from the front to the back. This is a great way to get an objective view of your business as though you were a first-time customer. Take notes on what aspects of your store/business grab your attention – list the good and bad. Turn those bad points into good ones!
Generally, its important to clean and organize all areas in the shoot:
- Clean desks and counters, remove stacks of papers on those surfaces
- Empty garbage cans that are visible (or remove them from the shoot entirely)
- Tidy up any noticeable cables
- Loose items should be put away, declutter the space.
- Check the outside as well (front door, sidewalk, parking lot, etc) so that they look presentable
- Add simple non seasonal decorations such as flower arrangements, fruit bowl – pop of color!
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs
- Clean any reflective surfaces
3. Which areas of my business will be photographed?
Photo shoots will include the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with the photographer to determine what areas of your businesses you would like to highlight, or even excluded from the shoot. The goal of the 360 tour is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
4. Can my employees or people be in the 360 shoot?
In most cases, we believe that it’s best not to have any people shown in the 360 virtual tour. Employees change from time to time, and having people in the photos can sometimes be a distraction. Since the exposure time for the 360 photography tends to be on the longer side (seconds instead of fraction of seconds), any movement in the scene may be blurred (often severely). As a result, people will not look their best. If your intention is to have your 360 tour solely on Google, you need to be aware that it’s Google’s policy to blur the faces of any recognizable people. Tours hosted only on your business website can have people in them.
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