virtual tour of your college

How 360 Virtual Tours Are Different From 3D Virtual Tours

If you are reading this, you are already aware of the power of visual marketing. And you have also heard about 360 virtual tours as well as 3D virtual tours. Now, both these visual marketing tools are attractive, engaging, and can do wonders to boost a business’s traffic and conversions. But the problem arises when these terms get used loosely or interchangeably. Even if they seem the same, 360 virtual tours are a little different than 3D virtual tours. So, find out all about their differences based on 5 parameters, so that choosing the right tool becomes an easy task for you.    

  1. Composition – 360 virtual tours are like a slideshow of 360 panoramas, where you can tag specific spots with extra information (if required), like videos, images, text or links that lead to other websites. While 3D virtual tours are similar to that, they ensure a more immersive and interactive experience by providing 3D depth and navigation features.

  2. Experience – When it comes to 360 virtual tours vs. 3D virtual tours, the difference in experiences that they offer is significant. If you are not gunning for an emotional experience or don’t need to evoke specific reactions from your viewers, a 360 virtual tour can be adequate. For example, if you simply want to make your Google My Business listing look a bit different than others that use plain images or videos, 360 virtual tours can do the trick.

    Read – Find Out Why Your Business Needs 3D Mapping for That Competitive Edge

However, if you wish to connect with your viewers at a deeper level, make the experience more immersive and realistic, and want better recall, 3D virtual tours are the way to go. For instance, if you are promoting a luxury resort in a unique location, allowing potential guests to explore every nook and cranny through a 3D virtual tour can delight them and drive a positive decision.   

  • Floor plans and 3D models – The difference between 360 virtual tours and 3D virtual tours becomes especially evident if you are a real estate developer looking to market a property. In case you go with a 360 virtual tour, you will have to create floor plans and 3D models separately. However, if you go with 3D virtual tours, then the concerned platform can churn out 3D models automatically. It will also be easy to use 360 panoramas to put together floor plans in this case. Basically, you will end up saving a lot of time and effort if you choose 3D virtual tours.
      
  • Spatial information – Providing spatial information to viewers essentially means showing them how much space you have at your disposal. This may not be necessary always, and can determine whether you need 360 business virtual tours or 3D tours. An example can make this clearer. Imagine you run an upscale restaurant and want to attract the right crowd. So, no matter what the exact size of your establishment is, if the theme, décor, and ambience click with your audience, it will be good enough. So, in this case, a 360 virtual tour will do the trick. But if you rent out your restaurant for corporate events, parties etc., viewers will need an idea about how big it is and what is the layout like. This means, a 3D virtual tour will work better.      

  • Money and time – 360 virtual tours (even big ones) usually don’t take much time to create. Professionals can especially do it fast with the kind of software they have, after asking you a few questions about the rooms you wish to show, the sequence, and any other information that you might want to add. Naturally, this doesn’t cost much. However, 3D virtual tours require more finesse and time, and hence, are costlier. So, which one you pick will depend on your budget, timeline and the other aspects that we discussed above.  

All in all, who wins the 3D tours vs. 360 virtual tours battle will depend on your type of business, your target audience, the kind of marketing results you want, and the time and money you are ready to invest. If you are still not sure, email us at info@massinteract.com and we will guide you towards the right decision.

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

add 360 photos to a Google My Business

Adding 360 Photos to a GMB Listing has Many Advantages

Every small business that is aware of the benefits of digital marketing has a Google My Business (GMB) listing these days. It essentially gives them a better chance to appear in Google search results when potential local customers search for what they sell. However, simply creating a listing is not enough to rank high on Google (which is ultimately what you want). You need to make it as engaging, informative and convincing as possible. This is why adding 360 photos to a GMB makes absolute sense, especially if your business has a physical presence. So, find out why cafes, restaurants, hotels, gyms, golf courses and even educational institutions are making 360 photos an integral part of their GMB listings:

  1. Better customer engagement – Since 360 photos offer a holistic view of your business, potential customers can visualize what it will feel like to eat at your restaurant or stay in your hotel or study at your college. Bright and crisp photos can grab eyeballs quickly, engage viewers and nudge them to explore more about your business. Another reason why adding 360 photos to Google My Business listings boosts engagement is because visual content is easier to register and recall than plain text. And potential customers consider your business to be well-established and professional when you make an effort to highlight its best aspects with the photos.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  2. Better ranking and visibility – The more people click on your photos or engage with your listing, the greater will be your chance to rank high on Google. Why? Because this search engine is intelligent enough to figure out that your content is helpful since so many people are clicking on it. Naturally, it gives your website’s rank a good push. And the better your rank, greater is the visibility. Basically, adding 360 photos in GMB is your key to generating greater brand awareness and interest.  

  3. More transparency and conversion – If you add 360 photos to a Google My Business listing, it shows that you are transparent about your business and have nothing to hide. Good quality pictures that show panoramic views of your establishment, products or services can give them a fair idea about what to expect. This can help you earn their trust easily and more viewers will convert into paying customers. In fact, if your listing has 360 photos and your competitor’s doesn’t, prospects will tend to choose you over others. After all, using 360 photos also indicates that you are up to date and ahead of the competition.  

  4. Making the most of Google Maps – Did you know that 41% of business searches (on average) that take place on Google Maps lead to actual or onsite visits? So, with the help of 360 photography, you can make your listing more powerful and increase chances of getting more customers through Google Maps searches. It has also been observed that listings that feature photos or virtual tours encourage customers to buy something almost 30% of the time.

    Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Things to remember for 360 business photography

Unless you are an expert with the latest camera models (especially the ones used for 360 photos), hire professionals to do the job. Remember to check their past experience, portfolio and ask them questions about how they will decide the right lighting, angles, décor etc. Find out what kind of editing they might render to the photos. And don’t forget to describe the photos, preferably in a search engine optimized manner (with the right keywords), so that your GMB listing has a better chance to rank high on Google.

So, you now know why adding 360 photos to a GMB makes so much sense, right? They get your business the visibility as well as traffic it needs to become more profitable. As one of the best forms of visual marketing, 360 photos are attractive, convincing, trustworthy (unless heavily edited), and will lend you a competitive edge too. So, if you are all set to boost the uniqueness and credibility of your GMB listing and draw more local customers Call us.   

Read – Does Your Business Need Google Street View? The Pro & Cons of Google Street View

Drone 3D Mapping

Drone 3D Mapping Made Easy With This Quick Guide

Drone 3D mapping is highly efficient when it comes to delivering accurate mapping results. And this commendable efficiency that makes it a great asset for several sectors including agriculture, mining, construction, real estate, and infrastructure inspection.

Having an accurate photograph or 3D model of your projects complete with in-depth data plays a vital role in making an informed decision. Not just that, drone mapping is also comparatively cost-effective and less tedious. If you have set your sight on it, here is the quick drone 3D mapping guide to getting started on the right note!

What is Drone 3D Mapping?

Drone mapping takes advantage of an innovative technique called photogrammetry to acquire essential data or gather measurements. For those unfamiliar, photogrammetry is the technique that enables you to take measurements from photographs.

Thanks to the drone’s rapid speed of data acquisition and advanced software, you can now create survey-grade (ASPRS Standard) data a lot faster and with better proficiency.

Depending on your needs, you can show the derived data as an orthomosaic, topographical map, a point cloud, a digital terrain model, or even a digital surface model. Moreover, the data can also be visualized through a 3D textured mesh.

Read – What 3D Modeling is All About and Why It’s So Important for Your Business

How much does drone mapping cost?

Gone were the times when drone mapping was considered quite an expensive proposition. Thanks to the introduction of cost-effective yet exceptionally advanced drones like Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced Plus (starting price $1350), drone mapping will no longer burn a hole in your pocket.

Drone Mapping

So, whether you are a farmer, a land surveyor, or a real-estate businessman, you can make the most of a drone to carry out the essential tasks faster. And that too without having to break the bank or sweat!

Which drone mapping app should you choose?

Unlike before, the market is flooded with a ton of drone mapping apps that allow you to transmit and process the data in the cloud. As to which one should you choose entirely comes down to your requirements and budget.

Based on functionality, there are three types of drone mapping apps in the market: Acquisition Software, Processing Software, and All-in-One Drone Mapping Software.

Read – The Top 4 Predictions for the Future of Photography

Acquisition Software: It is handy for planning missions to garner aerial imagery. Pix4D Capture and Maps Made Easy are some of the notable examples of acquisition software.

Processing Software: It enables you to create maps, orthomosaics, point clouds, as well as other deliverables from imagery with the help of photogrammetric calculations. PhotoscanAgisoft, Inpho, Pix4D Mapper are some of the well-known examples of processing software. 

Sticky Note:

  • A point cloud is basically a compilation of points or coordinates on an object’s surface. You can use the compilation of points to create a 3D model of an area.

All-in-One drone Mapping Software: As the name itself suggests, it’s a powerful and high-end software that’s designed to take care of all the tasks related to drone mapping. Be it the ability to transmit the data to a cloud server or the skill to automatically process the data in the cloud to create the desired output, it’s got you fully covered.

DroneDeploy has long been a top-notch drone mapping software. What sets it apart from many other rivals is the ability to excel in several fronts including the ability to make digital terrain models, orthomosaics, garner NDVI data, and even generate 3D models. It’s aimed at three industries like farming, surveying, and construction.

Pix4D is a robust suite of photogrammetric software. It consists of several different versions like Pix4DMapper for mapping, Pix4Dbim for construction, Pix4Dag for agriculture, and Pix4Dmodel for 3D modeling.

Furthermore, Pix4D also offers a handy mobile app (PIX4DCapture) to let you automate the mapping process with both DJI drones and Parrot drones.

Read Also – Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

360° Photography

Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

When it comes to immersive viewing experience, nothing comes closeto a 360° photo. With the deep insight into the surrounding, it capturesthe attention right away. If you are charmed by 360° images and are looking for the pro tips to get started with 360° photography, you are at the right place!

What is 360° Photography and Why It’s So Exciting?

In an age where Facebook and Instagram dominate the sphere and smartphones like iPhones and Galaxies challenge the supremacy of DSLRs, sharing stunning images has become an order of the day. While businesses share eye-catching shots of their offerings to stay in the hunt, netizens share their memories to win attention.

Thanks to the ability to deliver vivid detail, 360° photography has become a rage today. For those uninitiated, 360° images are a series of still images snapped in a sequence, presenting a remarkable view of not just the subject but also the background.

Read – The Top 4 Predictions for the Future of Photography

What sort of gears do you need to capture 360° shots like a Pro?

The key to capturing top-notch 360° photos is to have an armory of solid gears. If you don’t want to compromise with the quality of the shots, invest in them.

DSLR or flagship smartphones like iPhone and Pixel

Though smartphones like iPhones, Pixels, and Galaxies have come a long way in terms of camera quality, they are still not in the same league as DSLRs. So, get one to deliver top-of-the-line visual appeal.

A robust tripod

You should go for a robust tripod for better control. It can let you install your DSLR or smartphone perfectly to capture desired shots from different angles.

Cayer AF2451 ($164.99 on Amazon) is one of the better professional camera

tripods.Constructed with high-grade aluminum, it sports a durable appearance. What puts it ahead of the curve is the ability to offer 360°-panning and +90/-70° tilt.

(Pic Credit – Amazon)

Fisheye lens featuring 180° FOV

The fisheye lens with 180° FOV (field of view)is designed to deliver excellent visual distortion that plays a vital role in creating wide panoramic or hemispherical photos.

Shutter release cable or remote

We would suggest you get this one. Pressing the shutter button with the finger could cause the VR head to shift which might disarray the stitch alignment. Thus, get a remote without fail.

Pick the right software

There is no dearth of software for 360° stitching. However, the 360° photo stitching programs that are ahead of the curve are PTGui and Hugin.

Go for a neat VR head

A VR head comes in super handy when you want to set up your equipment to shoot 360° pics. And for this purpose, it’s Nodal Ninja Ultimate seems a touch better than many other counterparts.

Read – What 3D Modeling is All About and Why It’s So Important for Your Business

Best tips and tricks to shoot top-notch 360° photos

No matter how good your gears are, they can’t deliver the best, if you haven’t set them up properly. For starters, find the perfect spot for the camera and ideally set up the tripod in keeping with the theme and the sort of images you want to capture.

Another step is to fine-tune the camera settings like focus, aperture, white balance, and shutter speed in line with your needs. For instance, if you want to capture sharp and detailed images, always shoot 360 images at an aperture of f/8.

Shooting 360 photos with precision

Once you have customized the camera settings, it’s time to get started with the shooting. We are going to use the Nodal Ninja VR head powered by the Sigma 8mm fisheye lens.

To get a full-on 360° image, we will need to snap four photos at 0°, 90°, 180°, and 270°. Bear in mind, rotating the VR head counterclockwise could unscrew it. Therefore, always make it a point to rotate it clockwise.

After that, you can export your stitched panoramic image and share it with your friends or followers. If you wish, you can even turn it into a 360° virtual tour by using programs like My360 and Pano2VR.

Read Also – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

5 Smart Real Estate Photography Ideas

Did you know that more than 50% home buyers find what they are looking for on the internet? And in the online world, if you don’t use visuals to market your real estate, you will inevitably fall behind others and have a tough time in sealing a deal. The reason is quite obvious. High quality and relevant photographs grab attention quickly and stick to the potential buyer’s brain more than plain old text. A property that is marketed through visuals gets better recall and engagement. And no, even if you are a superb amateur photographer, always trust a professional to do the perfect job for you. The money you shell out will be worth it. However, here are some real estate photography tips that will help you to zero in on the right professionals and get the best results.

  1. Take a look at their portfolio and reviews – Knowing what the professionals have done in the past will help you decide if they can help you in the present. So, go through their past projects or portfolio and ask about how they plan their work. Things might be different if they have to simply take photos of your property or create a video. Also go through client testimonials to get an idea about their professionalism, ethics and communication norms.

  2. Ask if they can create custom virtual tours – Photography for businesses, including the ones in real estate, has become an extremely competitive field now. This means, just putting up beautiful and vibrant photos might not be enough to win brownie points. So, ask the photography professionals if they can create 360 degree virtual tours by “stitching” panoramic images of your property together. These tours are the latest in visual marketing and offer an exciting, immersive experience to prospective buyers. You can add them to your website, social media pages and even Google My Business listing to get more queries.

    Read – The Top 4 Predictions for the Future of Photography

  3. Find out what kind of lighting will work best for you – One of the timeless real estate photography ideas is to highlight your property in the best light. And what works for one might not be ideal for another. Also, while outdoor shots seem better, more crisp and close to the original colors at dusk, indoor photos should be taken in the middle of the day when the sun is bright. Moreover, night-time shots can look amazing if the right kind of artificial lighting is in place. So, request the professionals to explore your property and discuss what you want to highlight with them. Then ask about the type of lighting they plan to use and why.

  4. Remove clutter and stage the scene – This is one of those photography tips that all professionals recommend.  Before taking shots of any room, get rid of unnecessary items and clean up the whole place as much as possible. For example, remove pots and pans from the kitchen, laundry bins from the bedroom, cleaning accessories from the bathroom and that pile of newspapers from the living room. Ideally, only large and eye-catching furniture pieces and light fixtures should remain. Next comes the staging part. Here, real estate photographers will help you make the room attractive, by maybe adding a few pretty vases, cushions, throws or a painting. It will help the potential buyer to visualize your property better.  

  5. Find out about the photo editing basics – Professional real estate photographers usually edit the photos to make them more beautiful and appealing. For that, they might use a variety of tools, which you should get a basic idea about. You can also ask how they will make dull photos more vibrant, correct contrasts, or make the colors realistic. Ask how they intend to make your interiors look bright and cheerful. Editing tools are also available to reduce brightness, make edges sharper or softer and to balance the blacks and whites. 

All in all, the above realty photography will prepare you for the things professionals take care of while shooting a property for a quick sale. And if you are looking for experts who can handle various properties and create awesome photographs, videos or virtual tours in no time, email us at info@massinteract.com

Read Also – Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

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