Curiocity Brisbane – Interactive Virtual Tour

Curiocity Brisbane – a series of science, art and technology “experiences” spanning the Brisbane River will be on display for 20 days (15 March to 3rd April 2019).

One-of-a-kind installations, pop-ups and interactive spaces crafted by local and international artists, technicians and makers will be available for everyone to explore.

From New Farm Park, under the Story Bridge, right through to Brisbane’s South Bank, 16 different experiences will be operating.

The theme of this event is for a fully immersive, sensory experience for everyone, and how better can this be achieved than through an interactive Virtual Tour ??

An Unofficial Virtual Tour

Despite the obvious synchronicity between a Virtual Tour and the Curiocity Brisbane event, a Virtual Tour was not unfortunately offered (or even considered ??) as one of the ways Curiocity Brisbane could be experienced. I have therefore taken it upon myself to create and publish my own virtual tour – making these experiences available, not just in Brisbane, but also throughout, Queensland, Australia and the whole world (without actually having to visit the Brisbane CBD at all).

This is also an awesome project to showcase some of the more sophisticated capabilities of a Standalone Virtual Tour.

Here is the current version of my Curiocity Brisbane Virtual Tour

See for Full Screen version

Work in Progress

Note: this virtual tour could obviously only be photographed and therefore created once the individual installations were in place (which didn’t actually happen until after 15 March)… to add to the problems the first few days of the event were very wet and stormy (raindrops and fisheye lenses just don’t play nicely together), so this Tour is a Work In Progress… here is a brief update of the process/progress :

  • 14 March – Wet and Overcast – visited Story Bridge sites (Astronauts, Da Vinci’s Dream, Moon Drops) – installations still under construction. Visited Howard Smith Wharf (Something Fishy) – photographed and shot an Aerial 360
  • 15 March – Wet and Overcast – photographed Panospheres for Astronauts, Da Vinci’s Dream, Moon Drops, SuperNova. Too wet for Aerial Panos
  • 16- 18 March – Processed Panos, used some existing Aerial 360s and published 1st draft to
  • 19 March – 1st Sunny day for a week 🙂 – Photographed Panos for Fibonacci Spiral, Scatter (also recorded audio), Dynamo, Shadowgram, Tag It, Sky Brisbane, 2 x Aerial 360s for South Bank, and various Aerial Videos
  • 20 March – Contacted the Curiocity team to let them know what I was doing with the Virtual Tour to see if they may be interested in using it in some way to promote the Curiocity Brisbane event.
  • 21 March – heard back from a 3rd party Marketing Agency (apparently associated with Curiocity Brisbane marketing). They don’t seem interested in using the Virtual Tour, and actually requested (very nicely) that I remove Curiocity branding, Logos and references from it (which I will do in the next release). An unexpected response … seems they are more interested in “protecting” the brand then they are in promoting the event 🙂
  • 22 March – Version 2 published. This version includes :
    • Panospheres for Fibonacci Spiral, Dynamo, Scatter, Shadowgram, Tag It & Sky Brisbane
    • Updated Aerial and (sunny day) panospheres for Da Vincis’ Dream, Moon Drops and Astronauts
    • Added Splash Screen, with instructions
    • Improved and extended Menu (for mobile)
    • Removed Curiocity Branding and Links
  • 22 March – Re-shot Something Fishy (sunny) and HS Wharves Aerial. Shot Wave Opus IV (No audio because it was not working). Republished VT with Direct Node Access (can now link via URL to any node) and also added Event Tracking to provide analytics.
  • 26 March – New version uploaded – Added Waves Opus IV, Added some Night panospheres (and ability to switch between day/night for certain modes) – Added Something Fishy (Night), Waves Opus IV (night) and added Audio to Scatter
  • 30 March – New version uploaded – Changed Starting Point (to Sunny Story Bridge & Brisbane Cityscape), Changed Navigation Icons (Added Home Icon, Added Menu to top left, Moved Map Icon to bottom left), Added popup Video to Davinci’s Dream (see below).

If you’d like to find out how a Virtual Tour could be crafted
to showcase your event, please give Andy a call
on 0403 023 223 or Contact Us

Using Panoramic Photos & Aerial Photo/Video to Showcase a Revegetation Project

Clever use of photography can be very effective in showcasing a wide variety of locations.  In this quick example we have used aerial and ground based panoramic photos and some basic aerial video to display the results of a revegetation project at Woodlands St, Carindale.

Aerial Photos


Aerial Panoramic Photo

Aerial Video

How to Embed a Google Virtual Tour onto your Website

Once your Google Virtual Tour has been published, it will be available via Google Search and Google Maps… but you can also embed it into your website.

This very simple process is outlined below. Most website owners can probably do this themselves (particularly if your site is a WordPress site), but if you are having trouble, simply pass the link to this post onto your web developer.

Step 1 – Find your listing on Google Maps

First go to Google Maps, search for your business.  It is IMPORTANT that you use Google Maps, because accessing the Tour direct form Google Search does not offer the share/embed capabilities that are provided by Google Maps.

Then click on one of the 360° Panosphere links in the left column (these are associated with the “Storefront” and “Inside Starting Point” views of your tour) to view your Virtual Tour.



Step 2 – Select the “View” you Want

You can embed ANY view as the starting point of your Virtual Tour into your website. Navigate to the Area you want to use, change direction and zoom level until you get the view you want to use as the starting point in your website.  The click on the 3 dots in the top left :


Step 3 – Get Embed Code

Select the “Share or embed image option”


Select the “Embed Image” Tab and then choose the size you want to embedded view to be – Small (400×300), Medium (600×450) or Large (800×600)…  You can also choose a Custom Size (as per the example below) and enter whatever dimensions that you want to use on your website.

Then select and copy (Ctrl C) the HTML embed code (it start with <iframe src and ends with </iframe>)


Step 4 – Add the Embed Code to your Website

Edit the page where you want to add the virtual tour into…and Paste the embed code into the html of the page on your website where you’d like your virtual tour to show The process will vary depending on how your website has been created (you may need to get advice from your web developer).

If you are using WordPress, make sure that you paste the code in “Text” mode not “Visual” mode or it will not work.

Step 5 – Save and Check the Page

Save the change and update the page (again thios process will depend on how your site is created).  Then go to the page and your Virtual Tour should be embedded within your website.

Have You Seen Wally Lately ??

Wheres WallyWhether you know him as Wally, or Waldo, Willie, Walter, or even Charlie (depending on where you are in the world)…. most of us have spent many frustrating/entertaining hours trying to find him in one of the famous “Where’s Wally” picture books.

I recently decided to start to add something a little “extra” to the Google Virtual Tours that I create.  I thought that by subtely including some sort of character or figurine to my Business Views, I could make it a bit of a “signature” of my work – but at the same time also add an extra element of interest for the business (and potentially their customers).

I thought about lots of different things I could use… I wanted something small, but bright and easily recogniable… Thanks very much to Rory for suggesting Wally… I think it is just perfect because :

  • The figurine is small, bright and recognisable
  • Most of us are already used to searching for him
  • He is a photographer (and has a camera around his neck)

Actually finding a Wally figurine was harder than I thought (as they went out of production more trhe 25 years ago)… but I did manage to track some down, and have started (with my clients permisison), incorporating them into new Virtual Tours that I publish.

So far all my clients have loved the idea… it provides something a little quirky for their virtual tour…. and also gives them the potential to run a competition or offer a prize tpo encourage potential customers for taking a long hard look through their virtual tour.

See if you can find Wally in the tour below (there is only one to find) :

14 Reasons why Your Business Needs Business Photos

OK, so Business Photos and the capability to showcase your business with a virtual 3D Tour is pretty cool, but what are thge benefits and why would you want Business Photos for your business ?  Here are some reasons for yo to consider :

1. Raise the Profile of your business

Thousands of people search for local businesses every day on Google (you probably do it yourself).  Whether it is  restaurants, florists, garages, hotels or other retail shops or local services, people often usually include a “locality as a part of their search criteria. Google is the main source used to find local businesses and having a virtual tour of your business can make you stand out from the crowd and help attract local customers.

2. Haven’t I Been here Before ?

Allowing people to actually see inside your business gives them confidence and it truly feels like they been there before. People tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. People seeing your virtual tour are more likely to visit your business compared to a competitor which don’t have it.

3.Celebrate your Uniqueness

If your business have some unique or unusual characteristics and you believe it could grab attention, a virtual tour is an ideal way to showcase your business. Offering a virtual tour gives the customer a great first impression which can cause Internet users to visit the physical store.

4. Brings your business to life

High quality 360° photos make it possible for visitors to see your premises like an interactive tour.  This is likely to increase the amount of new visitors to your Google+ Profile, Google Maps, your business in Google search and ultimately, your business in real life !!

5. Add Google Business photos to your own website and share on Social Networks

Once you have Google Photos in place it is very easy to add a virtual tour to your own website, and also promot the photos and links vioa soclail media (Facebook, Twotter, etc…).

When having virtual tours on multiple websites, such as your Google+ page, Google maps, Facebook and your website – there are many new opportunities for users to share or like your business.

6. Your business shown in the best light

Trusted Photographers have been trained by Google and have proven skills and experience to enable them to photograph your business in the best light. Every single business photo used in your virtual tour is taken in 3 different exposure modes, to ensure that your business in presented in the best possible light.

7. Enhance your business listing

Your Business Photo images and virtual tour will appear on Google search results, Google+ Local, and Google Maps. Web users love clicking on images and seeing inside. So this will surely lead to more people seeing your premises and services and most likely also attracting more customers.

8. Allow potential customers to explore online

Potential customers can engage and explore, walk-through, and truly experience your business. In many cases, this leads them to visit your shop, salon, garage, gym or restaurant.

9. Featured on your own Google+ page

With Google business photos your virtual tour is  prominently featured on Google+ Local. If you haven’t already uploaded Point of Internet (POI) photos, your trusted photographer can also update your Google+ listing with new and interesting photos of prominent features in your business.

10. All photos belong to you

The photographer assigns all ownership rights in the photographs (including intellectual property rights) to Business. You get full rights over all the photos and it’s free to use these images on your website, in newspaper adverts, magazines, outdoor advertising or anywhere else you wish. Your trusted photographer will send over all images on Google+ or if you prefer to have images on a disc, that can also be arranged.

11. You don’t need a website

You can take advantage of Google business photos without having a website. All photos will be uploaded to your Google+ page profile.

12. Encourage positive reviews

Having a virtual tour of your business can encourage visitors to leave reviews.

13. More repeat business

With plenty of similar businesses, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Having Google business photos certainly help people to recognise the premises and making them more likely to return. Because if they cannot find the address to your premises there will never return.

14. Anyone searching for your services might see it

People searching for services and restaurants in local search are likely to see Google business photos. After all, people love looking into businesses and Google tend to show users what they want to find. Businesses with virtual tours, incoming links and many reviews by users are usually more likely to be shown in Google, Google+ Local and Google maps.

How to Embed Google Business Photos on your Website

Once you have a Google Business Photos listing activated for your business, a very powerful way to capitalise on it to promote your business is buy embedding the virtaul tool on your website or even as a post.

Fortunately, the way to do this is pretty straight forward.  This post provides simple, step by step instructions on how to embed Business Photos into your own website.

One of the great features of this process is that you can embed the virtual tour starting ant ANY point you like within the tour, so you can feature important aspects of your business, or even do multiple embeds highlighting different areas of your business on different part ts of your website.

To embed a virtual tour :

  1. Go to your Virtual Tour
  2. Run your tour and navigate to the viewpoint you want your vistor to start at
  3. Click the Link tool
  4. Copy the  HTML code
  5. Paste it into the relevant area of your website (you may need to send this code onto your developer if you are not sure what to do – andn if you are using WordPress – make sure that you paste it in in the” HTML” – not “Visual” – view)

The virtual tour below is for a Brisbane Hotel using all the default settings

View Larger Map

Customising the HTML

It is also possible to customise the size and look of the embeddede virtual tool.  before copying the code (Step 4 abopve), click on the “Customise and preview embedded map” link whioch will provide a popup window like the image to the right which allos yopu to custopmsie the size of the vurtual tour you wish to embed.

Business Photos on Google Maps

Thousands of participating businesses owners around the world, already have Business Photos associated with their Google+ Pages , and Google has  been working hard to improve the comprehensiveness of interior, panoramic imagery available on Google and Google Maps.

So, if you are searching or browsing Google Maps and want to check out what a business looks like on the inside, it is now even easier to find and view these 360-degree panoramics. Simply drag and drop the orange Pegman on the left hand side of your screen onto an orange circle on the map. Voila! You’ll be virtually transported through the doors, and able to pan around and explore the interior of the establishment.

Drop Pegman on the orange dots to get 360 degree interior views of participating businesses
For an even better idea of where and how you can find these helpful interior Business Photos, watch the following video. Then let Google Maps help you explore the interiors of the participating places in your area.

Bringing Business Photos to Australian business owners

Since April 2010, Google has been testing and developing the Business Photos program, which gives users a virtual peek inside businesses through interactive 360-degree imagery.

Through the Business Photos program, if you’re a business owner in many locations around the world (including Australia), getting started is easy. Just hire a Trusted Photographer in your area to take pictures of your establishment at a time convenient for you. Panoramas are created using the photos, and customers can easily find the resulting panoramic images on, on Google Maps, and on your Google Places listing. If a local photographer isn’t yet available in your neighborhood, you can let Google know so they can figure out where else to expand the program.

Google  are actively recruiting more Trusted Photographers to bring imagery of more local businesses online for millions across the globe to see. Visit the website for photographers to learn more and sign up.

Google Makes Business Photos Self-Service

When the Google Business Photos service was first launched the program was only available in select cities and was effectively by invitation only. However Google have now made the whole program self-service. So if you do want a professional photographer to come take photos of your business, here’s your chance.

SMBs can now get started by finding a trusted photographer from Google’s list and then both parties work out a time and price on their own. Within days your photos will then be available on Google’s properties. Google has essentially taken itself out of the equation and is now playing match-matcher between SMBs and photographers.

Google Announces trusted Photographers

When they initially announced the Business Photos pilot program, Google wanted to give business owners an easy way to get customers in the door online using interactive, high-quality, 360-degree images of places on Google Maps and on Google Search results.

Since then they have listed thousands of new businesses on the Google Business Photos program – and are increasingly being asked by business owners about how they can get their ow Business Photos.

With the overwhelming success of the first pilot, Google has now unveiled an initiative designed to reach more interested business owners, more quickly: Trusted Photographers.

What are Business Photos Trusted Photographers

Business Photos Trusted Photographer are selctec by Google to  build relationships with local businesses and work with them to photograph their space. Trusted Photographers are provided with the training and support they need to capture Street View imagery in a form that fcane be published on Google Maps.

How to Find Trusted Photographers

Easy… Simply visit the Google Business Photos website and search for a Google Trusted Photographer in your area. The either email or call a local photographer to schedule a time and agree on a price that you will pay the photographer for a photoshoot of your business.

Trusted Photographers are available in Australia,  New Zraland, the United Kingodm, France and 14 U.S. cities