Some thoughts and ... How are tours for businesses linked to Google search?

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keith@fachwen.org
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Some thoughts and ... How are tours for businesses linked to Google search?

Post by keith@fachwen.org » Thu May 04, 2017 10:00 am

I'm very new to uploading panoramas to Google. In the past I used the smartphone app to upload one high resolution pano to see how it all worked. I never even checked to see where or how people could find it through Google search or Google Maps. This process was pretty tedious as my equirectalgular image was quite large and was slow to manage via the iPhone app, so I never tried to do this more than once.

I was never motivated enough to learn to use Google's own tools and workflow. To me the focus seemed to be on fast shooting, low quality tours for little financial reward.

This pano has received over 3000 views apparently, far more that the same pano received on my own website. Nice how Google emailed me very time it went past a 1000 views too.

Over the last 2 days I've been experimenting and used Pano2VR to upload some of my previously authored tours to Google Maps. I more or less just clicked on the 'Upload to Google' button, no extra work involved. All very simple, thanks Garden Gnome :D . I now have over 60 approved images uploaded and this morning have received Google Trusted Photographer status. I don't really know what this means, I get a free digital badge, marvellous :shock:

Trying not to be too cynical... I really like how all of my panoramas appear in the Smartphone app browser. All visible and kind of filterable geographically speaking. So all of my panos could be seen through one map window. This is good. As the panos are hosted independently of me they will be live 'for ever'.... Handy for when I'm no longer around :cry:

I'm quite tempted to upload all of my individual panos and tours, so more people might see them 8)

I also really like how I can link individual panos after uploading to Google maps with the smartphone app. These individual panos are then re-listed in my profile in the app as a Tour, which is neat. Means I can extend tours gradually over time without the need to do too much housekeeping at my end. Very well done Google.

EDIT .... While this is possible for a number of individual panos already uploaded, I can't seem to add a new individual pano to an existing tour or group of panos in the smartphone app...

What isn't good is I loose all of the little extras on my own tours, embedded text, hotspots, videos, directional sound, etc. Will these ever be allowed to be uploaded to Google with their api I wonder? If this was ever the case there would almost be no need to publish HTML tours separately in the future.

Personally I don't really like the Google navigation arrows and drag style, I prefer the original Apple QTVR way. At least in my HTML tours hosted on my server this is user switchable to their own preference.

Wondering how best to try and replicate the Google single map window for all my panos with Pano2VR on my own website? What is the maximum capacity for the software? Can we have folders to group panos in the Tour Browser area of Pano2VR? Should I create a single 'tour' with say 500 or more panos? Would it be better to keep the number of panos low but be able to move from one region to another via some HTML links in the skins? Can I copy one edited pano/node from one project to another and keep any patches, gps data, N heading, etc. All food for thought! Maybe there will be something along these lines in Pano2VR v6 or v7?

One specific query: Reading the Google forums, I see the 'look inside' button has been removed by Google. So I have no idea how a tour is meant to be linked in the authoring workflow to a specific business so it appears or is easily findable, when someone is searching for that business, or sees their details on Google Maps, etc.

Maybe I just use the Pano2VR 'Place' feature?

I've read I can Transfer Rights in the street view app, but I'm not sure that's a good thing commercially?

Is this something configurable in Pano2VR or something to be done later by me or the business through some Google web page or whatever. I've looked for some documentation on this, but can't seem to find anything at the moment.

Thanks for any response.

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