360 tour vs 3D Tour – What’s The Difference?

What is the difference between a 360 tour and a 3d virtual tour? Is there a difference?

Let’s look at the difference between two types of virtual tours:
1) 360 virtual tour (360 tour)
2) 3D virtual tour (3D tour)
 
The most simplistic way to explain it is that both are types of virtual tours, and 360 Tours are subsets of 3D Tours.
Matterport 3D tour
Screenshot of a Matterport 3D Tour

Different people and organizations may define them otherwise, but Virtualtech Design differentiates these two types of virtual tours as follows:

3D Tours

Include a 3 dimensional floorplan. 

360 Tours

Do not have a 3D floorplan

One of the most well- known platforms used in the creation of 3d tours is Matterport. They sell 3D cameras that both capture 360 images as well as map the area using sensors that create a three dimensional floorplan on the fly.

Navigation for this type of virtual tour is done by clicking on thumbnails to jump from scene to scene, or within scenes using clickable arrows that take people from one place to another. 

Pros and Cons of 3D Tours

Since 3D tours seem to be more all inclusive and have a much more pronounced “wow” factor, why does Virtualtech Design opt to mainly create 360 Virtual Tours? We have the technology and expertise to create them, and have done so for many clients, but not the majority. Two main reasons:

1) Overkill. For instance, take the example of a hospital. 3d tours are floorplan-centric and in most cases a detailed three dimensional floorplan of an entire hospital is not needed. In fact, it can greatly complicate things. We choose usually to create a 360 tour of a hospital that highlights the key areas but does not cover each specific square foot. 360 tours can be greatly informative and have many additional multimedia options such as popup videos and photos and voiceovers. But it is just enough information to guide a user into exploring the highlights you want them to see.  If there are too many highlights, nothing is a highlight. Also, we can and have created hybrid tours that are mainly 360s but have a couple of 3D tours where appropriate, such as when showing senior living apartments Example.  

2) Photography / scanning time. Most of our clients are busy and active healthcare centers so it is important that we cause a little intrusion as possible.  Photography (or scanning as the process for 3d tours is called) takes as much as 4x as long for 3d tours than the photography needed to create a 360 virtual tour. 

 

Virtualtech Design creates virtual tours of all types. We know that often less is more, but sometimes a 3d tour is the way to go.  Call or email is today for more information.

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