The TourBuilder Blog: Virtual Tours, Photography and Google Street View

The Future of Virtual Tours: The Unrequited Potential of 360 Technology

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 can sustain 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 earned “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 of taking up odd projects. This was only one factor that inspired him to found 360 virtual tours 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 as a one-person team, Gill managed to create 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 TourBuilder.

However, Gill built an entire company from the bottom up and devised a contingency plan to execute within the next 50 years.

He states that his business area 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 are realizing the necessity for an entirely digital experience.

His most ambitious goal, however, is building the profits to shoot Google Street View in areas that are struggling and 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.

Like 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, but it can also build awareness of areas people may not even know exist. The fact is that visuals provide the most vital source of information and can easily cause an emotional response that other mediums can’t achieve.

The consensus

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, everyone has the potential to contribute—Google Street View is a perfect example of a highly accessible and practical resource.

Click here to learn more about Go Virtual UK.

About The Tourbuilder Blog

The latest news on Google Street View, virtual tours and photography, along with tip and insights from expert photograpers in the virtual tour industry.

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