Virtual Tour is a combination of 360 Photo to create a virtual space which will let user to walk through any place virtually and to experience it similarly as if they are visiting the place to an extent. It will let us know how the place is exactly in Virtual Tour as if you are visiting it physically. You can have a walk through only on moving from one 360 photo to another on how its connected.
Let me tell you how virtual tour works
A number of 360 Photos will be connected based on the exact placement on where those 360 photos has been taken and on what angle those 360 photos align each other, etc. While virtual tour creation, the 360 photos will be connected to each other as mentioned and when the user view the virtual tour, it will let the user to move from 360 photo to the another as virtual tour will have arrow showing exactly on which direction the other 360 photo is located.
If you are not aware of What is a 360 Photos and how to take 360 Photos, I would suggest you to first check out What is a 360 Photo and how to take 360 Photos? Simple Step by Step Guide
Lets see a brief overview on how to create virtual tours
Virtual Tours usually will be created in Google Street View but there are other premium applications which allows you to create virtual tours from their site and you can directly publish the virtual tour from their site to Google Street View.
If you are creating Virtual Tours using Google Street View application, you need to first publish all the 360 photos to Google Street View.
To know about how to take 360 Photos using 360 camera and upload to Street View, do check out How to take 360 Photos in Ricoh Theta V and upload to Street View?
Once the 360 Photos of a place are uploaded to Google Street View as mentioned in the above highlighted posts, you may a Map listings of that place in case of Business places and you need to publish it to Google Street View.
After publishing to Google Street View, we need to select the 360 photos of place and on options – select Connect Photos. and when clicked, it will show a top view of each photo placements in the Map.
You need to align each photos with respect to the other photos, orient them, you need to select whether to show/hide the paths for 360 photos as how its required and then click Save. I use Old Version of Street View for creating Virtual Tours and for now you can toggle to Old Version in Google Street View App itself.
I will try to write a detailed post covering How to create virtual tour in Google Street View. Let me know in comments if you are interested in that topic.
Once published in Google Street View with a business place listings if the 360 photos are of a respective Business place, then in few weeks the Virtual Tour will be available in Google Maps when searched for that Business place.
I hope this post is informative. Let me know in comments on your thoughts about this post.