The Future of Virtual Tours: The Unrequited Potential of 360 Technology
by McKenna Hogan, on Jun 4, 2020 8:30:00 AM
Virtual tours are becoming a household name within the business world.
It’s clear that virtual tours are no longer just a convenient sales and marketing tool, but instead a necessity. The repercussions of COVID-19 have shown us that immersive technology is capable of sustaining entire businesses.
We’ve seen it before—decades old cases being solved, seemingly lost artifacts uncovered, lost loved ones providing a nostalgic moment frozen in time. Google Maps alone never ceases to amaze us with the extensive information gathered that otherwise may never be known.
One man in particular, Richard Gill, has dedicated his life to supporting and delivering virtual tours as a huge proponent of their endless benefits.
Here’s a story about how one Google Trusted Photographer plans to change the world through virtual tours.
Driving awareness with Google Street View
Previously working as a football cameraman on weekends, Gill says he was earning “almost nothing.” In 2014, he received a new beginning:landing a job as one of Google’s Street View official photographers.
The only downfall to his new career, Gill states, was the brutal off season that consisted of taking up odd projects. This was only one factor that sparked his inspiration to found 360 virtual tour and video company, Go Virtual UK.
Gill’s passion for bringing awareness to areas around the world that are in danger of being harmed or destroyed, such as the Maldives, was the catalyst that inspired him to take action.
The future of Go Virtual UK and Google Street View
Starting off as a one man team, Gill managed to start a successful business with equipment such as a Canon 700D, Sigma fish-eye lens, and a Ninja tripod adapter, Gill would then stitch images using PTGui and finally publish with Panoskin.
However, not only did Gill build an entire company from the bottom up, he also devised a contingency plan to be executed within the next 50 years.
His first area of business, he states, is to “literally change the way people think when starting up business properties” citing the necessity of virtual tours in any successful business strategy.
As mentioned above, virtual tours are in extremely high demand—even more, businesses of all kinds are realizing the necessity for an entirely digital experience.
His most ambitious goal, however, is building the profits to be able to shoot Google Street View in areas that are struggling and/or don’t yet have it.
The purpose, Gill states, is to preserve our planet. He mentions in his submission the tragic fire that destroyed much of Notre Dam, and how at the very least, Street View was able to preserve the memory of such historically significant and priceless architecture.
Similar to the Street View efforts conducted in Ebeye, visual mapping is starting to become a solution for documenting the world's most threatened cultures, countries, buildings, etc.
Not only can mapping preserve our earth's precious gifts, it can also build awareness to areas people may not even know exist. The fact of the matter is, visuals provide the strongest source of information and can easily cause an emotional response that other mediums just can’t achieve.
As you can see, neither Richard Gill nor Yixen Ye’s experiences with 360 technology were isolated events. When it comes to provoking positive change, every single person has the potential to contribute—Google Street View is a perfect example of an extremely accessible and effective resource.
Click here to learn more about Go Virtual UK.