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  • Writer's pictureConvirt 3D Virtual Tours

A site for sore eyes?

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

We have all experienced the disorientating feeling of navigating through an image-heavy website trying to book a hotel room, or check out a holiday resort or even shortlisting schools for our kids. That feeling of, "Where is that image in relation to the one I looked at nine clicks ago?" will be a familiar one to most. "Is that bedroom near to the outdoor bar area and therefore potentially noisy at night?" or "Where are the sports pitches in relation to the car park?" are questions the traditional website leaves largely unanswered.

Over recent years, virtual tours have helped massively in answering some of those questions but for large sites that require multiple virtual tours spread around many buildings on an estate, resort, attraction or campus, some confusion can still remain. That is where interactive site maps can prove really useful.

Stonyhurst College from the air
Stonyhurst's historic campus in Lancashire's Ribble Valley was previously difficult to get a feel for online.

An interactive site map is usually taken from an elevated position to gain a vantage point from which to survey the entire site. Very large sites can include navigation that takes you from aerial point to aerial point, giving the viewer to ability to cover vast areas. These lofty views can be static or 'flat' images usually with links or 'hotspots' to various points of interest about the site; some can be 360 views that can be swiped to look around as far as the eye can see. Our preference is to use aerial 360 views taken from one of our drones as it allows the viewer to look around and gain a feel for where the site sits in relation to its surroundings, determine transport links or other areas of interest and is more immersive and visually engaging than flat images alone.

Manisty Wharf from the air
Commercial sites can benefit from aerial interactive mapping to show their transport links.

Once familiarised with the surrounding area, the viewer is invited to click on hotspots to 'fly down' to ground level in order to experience 360 views with info overlays, or to enter virtual tours of a building to discover what is inside or even watch some video content on a pop-up window within the aerial view. The possibilities to engage and inform are only limited by imagination and creativity.

Our clients with larger sites have found this approach an invaluable way to orientate their viewers quickly and it has promoted further engagement and exploration of their online offer as a result, especially with the many 'calls to action' we include within the mapping and its linked virtual tours. It has been particularly useful for overseas students to colleges and schools in gaining access to an establishment when Covid restrictions denied an in-person visit. In a world of visual bombardment, this joined up way to present facilities and other spaces using easy to navigate 360 interactive mapping, makes a lot of sense and places the establishment at a distinct advantage over its competitors, who may continue to confound and confuse its web visitors with disparate images littered around its site pages.

For more info on getting an interactive site map created for your business or establishment contact Ian at for a friendly chat to discuss your needs.

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