Google has launched Tour Creator, a new tool that allows anyone to create their own virtual reality tour using their own 360-degree images or those of Google Street View.
The tool is designed to let amateurs produce professional-level virtual reality (VR) content without a steep learning curve.
Tour Creator is simple to use. You start by choosing a tour name and uploading a cover photo. You then choose a location on Google Maps for a point of interest, or upload your own 360-degree photo, to design your tour’s “scenes”.
The scenes can contain buttons which users can click on to learn more information about the location or photo.
Tour Creator is aimed at teachers and students but can be used by anyone. It is sure to prove useful to attractions that want to create their own VR tours or unique experiences to add a new dimension to their offering.
It is designed to work with Google Cardboard for VR but tours can also be experienced on mobile and desktop devices.
Once a tour has been created, it can be published to Poly, Google’s library of 3D content. From Poly, the content can be embedded on websites. Later this year, Google plans to add the ability to import the tours into Expeditions, its VR field trip app.
Expeditions allows people to travel the world in VR. Natural wonders and far-off destinations such as Antarctica or Machu Picchu have been captured, allowing people to experience places they would not usually get to visit.
According to Google, Expeditions has helped more than three million students virtually explore the world since it launched in 2015.