How to Create VR Tours of Local Landmarks

I live near a little ski mountain called Mount Abram that is totally geared toward being family-friendly, affordable (seriously, my kids ski the whole season for $20!), and community-oriented. During the weekends when my kids are in lessons I like to skin up the mountain. By skinning I burn a lot calories and I get to take in some views that a lot of people miss when they only ride the lifts. 

I like to take a lot of pictures of this little winter playground at Mount Abram. Last weekend when I stopped to take some pictures I used the photosphere mode on my Pixel 5 to capture a 360 view of the intersection of a few trails. Doing that reminded me of a cool tool called Story Spheres that offers an easy way to make little virtual tours of places that you photograph. 

How to Create a VR Tour

There are many ways that you could create a virtual reality tour. This is a simple method that utilizes the native camera app on a Pixel 5, Google Photos, Story Spheres, and Vocaroo

Step 1: Use the photosphere mode in the camera app on a Pixel 5. (If you don’t have a Pixel 5 or 6, there are other camera apps you can install to capture 360 imagery). Save the picture to Google Photos. 

Step 2: Go to your Google Photos account and download to your computer the 360 image that you want to use in your VR tour. 

Step 3: Create a free account on Story Spheres.

Step 4: Create a new story on Story Spheres. The editor will walk you through uploading your 360 image. 

Step 5: Use to record short audio narration for your Story Sphere. Save the recording as an MP3 file. 

Step 6: Upload your MP3 to your Story Sphere story (again, the editor guides you through that process). 

Step 7: Publish your Story Sphere!

I provide a complete overview of this short process in this short video

Applications for Education

Creating a VR tour with Story Spheres can be a great way to get students to research, create, and share little reports about landmarks in their communities. Their Story Spheres could be included as part of a larger multimedia project that they publish on Google Sites or a similar platform.

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.


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