Google Photo Sphere – What is it?

Posted on 06/03/2015 by Team Hallam

Photo Spheres are  360º panoramic photos that you can create using just your smartphone or DSLR camera. They are a great way to “share the world in 360º”. Unlike normal photos where a single viewpoint is captured, photo spheres allow others to freely look all around them to explore the entire scene, using your mouse to click and drag the image to get a full panoramic view of the area.

How can businesses use Photo Spheres?

Photo Spheres could be perceived only of interest to budding photographers or outdoor enthusiasts, but in fact they can bring a range of benefits to businesses within all sectors. For businesses with brick-and-mortar establishments, it is important that customers are easily able to locate their stores, especially if they are tucked away in a corner or hidden among similar looking buildings.

Photo spheres could also bring great benefit to business operating within the travel industry, allowing business owners to showcase their accommodation and scenic views. Estate agents could use photo spheres to demonstrate their properties. Manufacturing businesses can feature their production lines to showcase their new infrastructure or provide some insight into how their products are made.

Business photo sphere

Social sharing of the Photo Spheres

Another great benefit of the Photo Spheres is that they can very easily be shared over Google Plus and Google Maps. This is a great feature since by sharing your Photo Spheres you can engage with your visitors and even create interesting conversations around your spheres in social media.

You can take the Photo Spheres and share them with your Google Plus profile so that people who visit your page will be able to see them.

You can also associate those Photo Spheres with your Google Maps Views account and once they are approved they can appear on Google Maps.

Google Maps Views

The red dots on the map above are Photo Spheres created by other users and then uploaded on their Google Maps Views accounts. This can be a great opportunity to showcase your business location on Google Maps. Only publicly accessible locations can be featured on Google Maps though so while you cannot showcase the inside of your business you can always share the surroundings of your business.

Embedding a Photo Sphere in your website

While you can share your Photo Spheres on Google Plus and Google Maps Views, you can also embed them in your website so that your visitors do not need to leave the page in order to see your Photo Spheres.

Embedding the Photo Spheres is simple. First you will have to visit your Google Maps Views page and open the Photo Sphere that you want to embed in your page. Then you have to click on the share arrow on the right side of the screen, shown in the image below.

Google Maps Views Embed

Next, all you have to do is add the IFRAME code into the HTML code for your website wherever you want to appear on the page. This can either be in your blog inside a blog post or any other page that the Photo Sphere can provide some extra context.

The benefit of embedding the Photo Sphere inside the pages instead of directing your visitors to external pages is that this way they are more likely to continue browsing your website after looking at the Photo Sphere. If you send them to an external page you increase the chances of losing them.

Creating a Photo Sphere

Creating a Photo Sphere is very easy and all you need to do is download the related Apps in the Google Play store or iTunes  and follow the instructions.

The process involves turning around with your smartphone taking pictures to make a 3D version of your surroundings. Once you have created your Photo Sphere, you can also watch it come to life through Google Cardboard since the cardboard application includes a Photo Sphere viewer.

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Google Photo Sphere – What is it?

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