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Archive for the ‘Virtual tours – Tips’ Category

Converting virtual tours into videos

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The question often gets asked, “Isn’t a virtual tour already a video?” No. A virtual tour is a still photograph. And how you see it rotate 360 degrees on your screen is possible with some pretty clever software and coding – you click/tap on the image and control its direction, speed and more. You can’t do that with video that you find on YouTube.

So, converting your virtual tour into video is not without limitations and it’s not as simple as it sounds. At Spin360 we’ve done extensive research into this and tested many ways to get this to work. The final product creates a somewhat jittery result. This is due to the way the software captures the motion. Creating a smooth high quality video experience is not possible. The only way to achieve this is to film the property using a video camera. However, if we think outside the box and approach it in a different way this ‘effect’ can be overlooked because of the voice-over and editing style I’m suggesting.

Think of the end goal for this video clip. You want to inspire the user to go to your website. This video content is destined for YOUTUBE, not your website. Your website is where all the information is, the images, the actual virtual tour and most important, the final conversion the booking engine (or your chosen conversion pathway)! The goal surely must be to peek people’s interest and engage the user to want to see more. If we treat these video clips as a call to action tool, then it will work better than just having a standard product video. There are millions of them and they are all the same – cost a fortune, slick sales pitch… bla bla bla…next… and the user clicks away to continue their search.

The reason for using your virtual tour content is to save money and re-purpose beautiful imagery already in hand, yes?

Then lets use it in a new way to create a better result. It’s not a sales pitch. Produce it like a tutorial. Educate and entertain. Show the viewer what they will expect to experience by going to the website for a full engaging experience. Tease them with the highlights, interact with the virtual tour on-screen, and leave them wanting more. The clip should finish with a slide with a link to your site and a promise they won’t be disappointed.

This is the best approach for re-purposing your virtual tour content and turning limitations into traffic to your website. Remember, YouTube is the second largest search engine and the largest search engine, Google, owns it. By having video content that is properly tagged, linked, and contains crafted description will put you in the game. Be found on YOUTUBE so you can connect with more of your potential customers!


The State of the Internet

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Here’s some late great stats on what it is defining the world of online users….


Written by spinwebnz

March 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm

What’s happening in the world of virtual tours?

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Future of virtual tours

Future of virtual tours

I better not hang on to this article any longer because what’s happening out there in the real world to do about virtual worlds is mind bending!

Virtual tours, image synthesis, augmented reality- whatever- the likes of some brainy and talented human beings are igniting a fireworks display of possibilities and now realities. Enter Bing– Microsoft’s version of Google- and Silverlight– MS version of Flash.

Click on this link to view the video (at TED2010) and you’ll get a true sense of live 360 degree video, streamed to overlay on Street View maps, embedding Flickr images that have been geotagged so they can overlay them on the real spot they were taken- even old historic one upon a time photos!

What does this mean to you and your business?

Please let me know! What I can sense is a LIVE interactive global in-your-store/in-your-face shopping experience, and sight-seeing possibilities into areas never imagined. Is your little spot in the world available? Are you part of this online world for people to find you? What’s your GPS location please?

So, is your target customer the new generation who have been eating this technology for breakfast or the old generation digital immigrants with new technology learning where to go for breakfast? The line is very blurry now where these two are meeting up for a coffee.

It’s all very inspiring, and it’s making it easier for people with just a ordinary digital camera to contribute their view of this world we live in to the global scrapbook. A scrapbook with 3D viewing, 360 degree live streamed video and a set of numbers to zoom into your living room from a satellite travelling at orbital speeds. Who’s watching TV anymore? When was the last time you turned OFF your cell phone?

Reminds me of Star Trek depicted race called the Borg– which have a singular goal, to add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to their own in pursuit of perfection. “Resistance is futile.”

Links to new uses for Virtual Tours

Virtual Tour on the Trans Siberian …
Google and the Russian Railways have partnered to create a virtual tour on the Trans Siberian Railway. The tour has a dedicated page on which you can


Station 4 of the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem. Experience through this virtual tour the spot where Jesus meets His Mother…

Using a 360 google map as a game to find you

A London band EDITOR releases their latest song via a virtual tour- see if you can locate it!


In simple terms, Photosynth allows you to take a bunch of photos of the same scene or object and automagically stitch them all together into one big interactive 3D viewing experience that you can share with anyone on the web. Photosynth is a potent mixture of two independent breakthroughs: the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the technology to bring that experience to virtually anyone over the Internet. Oh ya- you need to install Microsoft Silverlight (http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/default.aspx)  to get them to play.

Your turn…

If Photosynth sounds time hungry- it is.  Is the time it takes to do it free? What’s your time worth? And- what are your customers going to do with it? We learned this 5 years ago when using QuickTime as a platform for viewing virtual tours. Not enough people had broadband to download a 11Mb plugin from Apple. So they didn’t open the tours. Today is a bit different, and we chose to adopt java and flash which 95% of users have, and with faster internet connection, we believe people expect things instantly. No waiting.

But, like anything brand new, it takes a few million people to embrace it. In the meantime, you have a travel hungry audience waiting to spend their money with you. At least you have super clear quality fast loading flash & java HD Spin360 virtual tours on your website to inspire their buying decision 🙂

Written by spinwebnz

February 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm