Virtual Tours have been available for many years as the next step from 360° photography. Featuring immersive technology, the Virtual Tour is a simulation of a location, comprising a series of linked 360° images linked to allow a "walk through" experience. This page explores some simple options for Virtual Tours, using existing and emerging technology.
The high resolution tours have been captured with a Digital SLR as a series of up to 300 linked and bracketed photographs. These are stitched together using specialist software and then further processed to incorporate them in a Virtual Tour.
One of the earliest high resolution tours was originally photographed in 2009 as a spin off from a commission from the BBC to produce a series of mountain top panoramas. Some 10 years later, I have incorporated a number of my own Mountain top panoramas to provide a new Virtual tour.
The panorama on the left shows the summit of A' Chailleach in the Fannich hills near Ullapool.
To aid understanding of context and scale of the views from mountain tops on a clear day, I have annotated many of the surrounding hills with their names. As the viewer pans around the image, the hill names are displayed.
Look out for the icon at the base of some of the summit cairns which provides the option to view the hills with or without the names.
With the advent of one shot 360° cameras with two wide angle, fisheye lenses set on opposite sides of the camera body, Virtual Tours have never been easier. I have tested some the latest cameras on the market and have compiled a few Virtual Tours to test their capabilities below.
And, as cameras become more sophisticated, it's going to be interesting to see how the quality of Virtual Tours improves over time. Whilst some of the Virtual Tours on this page have been captured with the spherical 360° cameras, look out also for my tours featuring aerial photography, taken from the platform of an airborne drone.
View the photographs on your PC, panning, zooming and scrolling with your mouse or alternatively, use your phone to look around you or to zoom in and out of the scene. Why not set the view to "VR" mode on your phone and use a Virtual Reality headset to view the scene as though you were there. Whichever means of viewer you use, enjoy the examples currently posted and look out for more examples coming soon.
To find out more and to commission your own Virtual Tour, why not contact me using the details below?