Posts tagged ‘immersive tour builder’

360 Cities founder and CEO Jeffrey Martin gave a talk at the Tucson 2010 Panoramic Photography Conference on April 15th and unveiled our new and improved offer to the professional panoramic photographer community: 360 Cities PRO accounts.

We will still have free accounts and we’ll keep the ability to publish an unlimited number of panoramas on 360cities.net and on our Google Earth layer (if approved). 360 Cities PRO accounts will be a new addition. PRO accounts are designed for panorama photographers who not only want to publish their general panos, but also want to use 360 Cities as part of their paid work for customers.

The launch date will be announced in the near future. When we launch it we’ll have two kinds of accounts:

  • Free accounts for sharing panoramas with the world, putting them on the 360 Cities map and (if approved) also on Google Earth. Free accounts let you publish any general pano that’s cool or interesting or simply important to you or your friends.
  • PRO accounts have all the functionality of free accounts with the added ability to publish commercial / business panoramas and virtual tours, i.e., of hotels, shops, restaurants, etc.

To sign up for a free 360cities.net account, go to the 360 Cities homepage and click Sign Up or Join.

PRO Accounts: Publish All Your “Business” Panoramas

360 Cities PRO accounts give you the right to publish an unlimited number of “business” panoramas on 360cities.net. What is a business panorama? It’s an image of, for example, a restaurant, hotel room, shop, museum, club, bar, etc., that clearly promotes the business it shows. (But a pano of you and your friends having a party in a bar or restaurant probably wouldn’t be considered a business pano.) We will publish a more detailed definition soon. If you’re a free account holder and you upload a business pano, it will remain in your unpublished queue. If you decide to purchase a PRO Account later, your unpublished business panos can then be published.  IMPORTANT: The new definition applies only for panos published after we launch the PRO accounts product — commercial / business panos that have been published before now will remain free.

EXAMPLE BUSINESS PANO: Spa - Hacienda El Carmen in Mexico


PRO Accounts: Publish Your Virtual Tours

All tours published by PRO account members will be included in our new virtual tour hosting layer on 360 Cities. As a PRO account member, you will be able to publish any number of virtual tours that you’ve created using our Immersive Tour Builder. URLs in the new tour layer will look like this: 360cities.net/virtual-tour/ID-OF-YOUR-TOUR. Our current “business pages” will be renamed to virtual tours for the sake of simplicity. Free account members will need to purchase the PRO account if they’d like to publish virtual tours.

EXAMPLE BUSINESS PANO: Seaforth Country Lodge Dining Room in South Africa


PRO Accounts: Embed Your Virtual Tours

As a PRO account member, you’ll be able to embed your business panos and virtual tours into your clients’ websites for a small fee for each embed (prices coming soon). The embedding price will cover one year instead of three years and will be lower than our current price. It will still be possible to embed non-business 360 Cities panoramas in non-commercial websites for free.


Is my panorama a business panorama?

If the main or obvious purpose of the pano is to promote a business, yes. We’ll provide a more detailed definition with examples soon.


When are you going to launch PRO Accounts?

In June 2010 (stay tuned for updates).


I’m currently using 360 Cities to show my portfolio. Do I need to purchase a PRO account?

No. You only need to go PRO when you want to publish “business” panoramas or virtual tours.


What’s the price of a PRO Account?

We’ll reveal the pricing soon, but the cost of a PRO account plus the cost of embedding a virtual tour in a website will be lower than we currently charge for embedding (in some cases much lower). In fact, we think you’ll like the change a lot. If you are really interested in getting started with a PRO account even before we officially launch, contact us to find out more.


Some other Questions?

Ask them below this blog post, we’ll answer them either immediately or in our next blog post about the new PRO accounts.

Update April 29th: Discuss PRO accounts in the forum

To learn more about 360 Cities PRO accounts, keep reading this blog.

We at 360 Cities are dedicated to getting people started with panoramic photography and virtual tours. The more people practicing this virtue there are, the better. Therefore we’ve created online resources to get you started. For information about using 360 Cities, browse our Help Center, ask questions in our Community Support Forum, leave questions below this article or contact us directly. Questions about panoramic photography in general can be asked and answered at Panoverflow, a site devoted to helping beginners and experts to get their questions answered.

One of the things that we believe will make life of pano photographers easier is the virtual tour hosting platform, which is a part of 360 Cities website. Virtual tours hosted there are not simple 360-degree interactive panoramas, but full-blown virtual tours, including graphical floor plans, hotspots and interactive transitions between panoramas. We call them Immersive Tour Widgets. The tour widgets can embedded into your or your client’s website to let you or your customer experience a hotel, restaurant, shop, office etc. through fully spherical, 360-degree panoramas. Take a look at an example video of how the virtual tours can look like:

(the video features imagery from a virtual tour of Intercontinental Tahiti Hotel Resort created by Gregory Panayotou)

The 360 Cities website allows its members to build such virtual tour using the Immersive Tour Builder. The tour builder is a hosted online solution, no download is necessary for your or for the viewers of the created virtual tours. After you upload panoramas to 360 Cities, it allows you to add a graphical floor plan, connect the panoramas with hotspots and then publish the preview of the finished tour to our website. After we receive a payment from you or your client (depending on the type of collaboration), and you can then embed the tour into your client’s website. This tutorial video will guide you through the process of creating a virtual tour.

To get started with the Immersive Tour Builder, you must have created a 360 Cities account,  be an approved author and you must have uploaded panoramas that you want to use for the virtual tour. If you’re stuck at any point, please let us know. We’re here to help you! Good luck, happy building and happy selling! :)

We invite you to take a virtual tour of Tikal. To start a tour, click on one of the blue pins on the map below.

Imagine your are in Guatemala and that you are just visiting Tikal, the ruins of one of the largest cities the great Maya civilization has ever built. The site so extraordinary that it was chosen by George Lucas as one of the filming locations for Yavin 4 in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. There are literally thousands of buildings everywhere around you in the jungle, still waiting to be discovered. You can feel the energy in the air, the breeze of the wind in the trees is almost like shamans whispering ancient secrets to everybody who is willing to listen.

Start your tour at Acopolis del Norte, in front of Gran Plaza in Tikal. There is a hundred of structure just on this single plaza. The most magnificient Templo I (The Temple of Grand Jaguar) can be seen on the left side of the plaza and Templo II (The Temple of Masks) to the right. Feel free to climb on the Templo II, it guarantees a satisfying view of the plaza and of the Templo I.

Screenshot of the Tikal virtual tour

Just about 10 minutes of walk from here you will find the 58 meters (190 foot) high Templo V. If you dare to climb the steep stairs it will reward you with an amazing view of the surrounding jungle. For those not so brave, you can take a look at the shelter next to the temple, which has pictures of how the temple looked when it was found by the archaeologists for the first time.

From here you can either go to take a walk to a nearby ceiba tree, the national tree of Guatemala, or go to the Templo IV in the west, which offers another breathtaking view of the Gran Plaza. Now, without further do, enter the virtual tour yourself by clicking on one of the blue pins:


(Click to open the tour in a new window)

The virtual tour was created using the Immersive Tour Builder technology by 360 Cities and then embedded into this blog. If you are interested in getting a tour like this for your business or venue, please contact us.