Google streetview Virtual TourInteractive 3D Virtual Tours

(slide image above left to right to compare appearances)

Getting an Interactive 3D Tour?

Interactive 3D Tours offer a robust list of features that you can’t really get with a normal virtual tour. Along with the great features that come with the tour however, there are also a few more steps added in that you, as the client, should know about before ordering one for your business or property.

Oftentimes, clients are really not interested in these additional steps until the time comes when they have to be applied, which is usually AFTER the shoot and when post-production begins. At the same time, we as a company need your cooperation to get to the finish line and complete your wonderful virtual tour. Let’s get started.

More on Interactive 3D Tours

Interactive 3D Tours VS Google Street View Virtual Tours

Lets first discuss what the differences are between the two platforms so that you can decide which one is best suited for you. From there, we will explain what needs to be done, or what is expected from you in order to have one completed.

  • Google Street View Virtual Tours go on Google Maps and your Google Maps Business Profile.
  • You cannot have an Interactive 3D Tour on Google Maps. They are two different entities.
  • Google Street View Virtual Tours are very basic- You start at one point of your facility or property and keep clicking your way through the building. This is how you navigate around the virtual tour- by clicking the little arrows and moving along.
  • The hosting is FREE meaning that you do not pay to have your virtual tour visible on the world-wide web. You only pay your photographer to shoot the tour, put it together and then upload it to your Google profile.
  • Google virtual tours stay on your profile forever, until they are either deleted or replaced by an updated virtual tour.
  • Mobile friendly
  • The cheaper option
  • Offers a navigation menu so that you can hop from place to place without having to ‘navigate’ your way through other rooms or hallways, etc… Find the room you want to go to and just click on the navigation button and you’re instantly there.
  • Offers real slick features such as what’s called ‘Hot-Spots.’ Hot-Spots can instantly put full focus on anything you want. It has an animated target icon which calls your attention. Once you click on the target, you will see a pop-up window to which you can show:
    • A written description of whatever you’re highlighting to give interesting facts.
    • Images of whatever you want
    • Videos from Youtube or Venmo
    • Hyperlinks to anywhere you want to take them
    • Even audio clips
    • The viewer is then allowed to close or re-open the pop up window.
  • You can customize the virtual tour with your logo and add in other information for viewers to see.
  • Mobile Friendly
  • The pricier option
  • Requires a GOOGLE API KEY (read more below)
  • Requires PAID HOSTING (read more below)

Getting an Interactive 3D Tour? You’ll need a Google API KEY

Google API Keys suck! They weren’t even needed years ago until Google decided that you can’t just use their technology without them having some monetary control over it. In 2018, they changed the rules and turned our virtual tour industry upside down. Many companies even went out of business because of it. It requires the owner of the website to do certain things in order for the virtual tour to work.

What we need you to do:

  • Create a Google Cloud Account. You will need to make sure you have a gmail email address first. Most people already do.
  • Upgrade your account to a paid account and add in a credit card to your profile (You will most likely never spend a dime..ever….read on)
  • Create an API key
  • Give this API key to your photographer.

Creating a Google API Key

This may all sound very simple but it’s a real pain, especially if you have never done any of the above before. Some clients we encounter enjoy the challenge and try to set it all up on their own.

Other clients don’t want the hassle. They give us their credit card info and we just set it all up for them. Some clients don’t like giving us their c.c. info which is understandable. But if you want to avoid the headache of creating an API key, then the best thing to do is share your c.c. info with us and we’ll take care of the setup for you. Your information is confidential and always safe with us. In fact, we never keep such information. It is usually terminated the moment your API key and Google Cloud account is created.

Want to Create a Google API key by yourself?

If you want to avoid giving us personal information, you can attempt to create an API key by yourself. We have a very comprehensive step by step guide that you could follow here.

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Adding a Credit Card to Acquire an API Key

In case you aren’t already aware, you need to put a credit card on file for your Google Cloud account in order for them to issue an API key for you. The idea is that if you go over your monthly quota, they will have your credit card on file and can charge you accordingly.

The good news is that you have to have over 14,000 views a month before they start to take notice. 14,000 views? Who the heck gets that much traffic on Google Maps? Hardly anyone, including you.

Once you do go over 14,000 hits in a month, it’s only 5 cents per every 1000 hits after that. So let’s just say that if you get 15,000 views on your Google Maps business profile, you’ll only pay 5 cents- and then another 5 cents for every 1000 views after that.

Getting an Interactive 3D Tour? You’ll Need Hosting for That

The good news: Hosting is remarkably affordable

  • $5 a month or
  • $30 a year or
  • $70 for 3 years or
  • $120 for lifetime hosting (recommended)

The not-so-good news: Setting up can be a pain.

But we can do it all for you…

If you leave it to us, we’ll need a credit card to set up your account or to pay off your hosting for lifetime.

The Bottom Line

In order to enjoy the benefits of an Interactive 3D tour, we’ll need a:

  • A gmail address to create a Google Cloud account on your behalf
  • A credit card to setup your API key and hosting