I’m a big fan of Google Expeditions to bring students to places they may not otherwise go. I’m also a supporter of students creating media — and not just consuming it. Google Tour creator makes it easy for teachers and students to create interactive 360 photos and virtual reality tours that can be viewed in Google Expeditions. Create virtual reality experiences for school tours, school trips, student/teacher travels, historical sites, local points of interest, etc.
No 360 Camera? No Problem.
I took the 360 photo I used in this example with my Insta360 One 360 camera, but you can take great 360 photos with any Android or iOS device. Click here to learn how to create 360 photos without a 360 camera.
Google Tour Creator
Google Tour Creator is a browser-based program that works on essentially any device.
- Go to vr.google.com/tourcreator and click Get Started.
- Sign in with your Google Account and click + New Tour.
- Enter a title.
- Optional: enter a description and category.
- Add a cover photo. Note: It does not need to be a 360 photo (it will display in 2-D).
- Click Create.
Add a Scene
- Click Add Scene
- Select a picture: You can either click upload to add your own 360 photo (180° photos can also be used), or you can click Street View to search for a location and use Google’s image.
- Click Add Scene.
- Enter a title,
- Optional: Enter a Location, Description, and Credits
- Optional: Add Audio (10-30 second .mp3 files) as Ambient Audio (background noise), or Scene Narration.
- Click Set starting view and rotate your image to display what you want viewers to see first.
- Click Save
- Repeat these steps to add more scenes.
Add Points of Interest (POI) to Scenes
- Click +Add point of interest
- Drag the (POI) icon to the area of focus in your scene.
- Add a title and description.
- Optional: Add a narration (10-30 second .mp3 file).
- Optional: Add an image overlay by uploading an image (it will display when the point of interest is selected).
Editing Scenes and Points of Interest
- Click on a scene or POI to make changes.
- Click the more options icon (three dots) to delete or move a scene (left/right) or POI (up.down).
Publish Your Tour
- Click the Publish button.
- Select a visibility option:
- Visible – can be found by search. Could be featured on the Poly home page.
- Unlisted – anyone with the link can view.
- Click Publish
- Share the link. Note: Published tours are saved to Poly (Google’s 3D library). Tours in Poly can be viewed in essentially any browser, or in VR.
View Your Tour in Google Expeditions
Any tours you publish will automatically be added to the My Tours section of your Google Expeditions app. You can view or guide students on your tour from within the Expeditions app.
Want to Share Your Tour with the World?
If you would like your tour considered for addition to the public Expeditions app, fill out this form.
You may have noticed a Templates option beside the + New Tour button. Templates are already created tours that automatically copy to your account where you can edit and change them in any way. They provide a great way to teach students how to use the features of Tour Creator.
Be sure to check out my other posts:
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Leading Virtual Field Trips with Google Expeditions
- How to Take 360 Photos without a 360 Camera
How will you use Tour Creator in the Classroom?
Please share work or ideas in the comments below or on Twitter.
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