The emergence of high quality 360 panoramic photography has significantly improved how we can capture and show the world digitally. No longer do you have to wonder what was behind the photographer when she took a photo, or if an image had been cropped to hide unsightly details. With 360 photos you can look around a scene from all angles. They are made even more useful by adding links to nearby images so you can walkthrough a space in a virtual tour. But they have some drawbacks.
Moving from one photo to the next in a virtual tour of 360 photos may not always be a smooth experience. Users must wait several seconds for each new scene to load. It may seem trivial but small delays add up fast. Additionally, it is easy to lose track of your place in the overall space when you are moving virtually down halls and between rooms.
Although 360 photos can look very real, they use a highly distorted perspective to create the illusion of immersion. This makes it challenging to use them to estimate dimensions and distances in a space and the relationship of objects to one another.
Fortunately, Interactive facility maps overcome these drawbacks in virtual tours. Linking Interactive maps bring 360-degree photos to their full potential. Interactive maps allow users to move from space to space using a bird's-eye view, virtual model of a facility. The 360 photos are embedded in the model so it's clear where an image was taken. And since the model is built using layers of interrelated maps and floor plans, accurate information about the size of spaces, objects and distances are right there.