Sadly, at the end of June Google is closing the doors on Tour Creator. I’m bummed about it because it is one of my favorite creation tools. Fortunately, there are some companies working on making alternatives to Google’s Tour Creator. One of those companies is Expeditions Pro.
Expeditions Pro is still in beta but I got to try it out earlier today. My initial impression of it is that it will be an excellent replacement for Tour Creator once all of the quirks are worked out.
When I first signed into my beta Expeditions Pro account I was struck by the similarity to Tour Creator’s user interface. The process of creating a VR tour in Expeditions Pro is very similar to that of Tour Creator. You simply choose a cover image, title your tour, then start to add scenes. Adding scenes is much like adding slides to a slideshow except that instead of adding standard images you upload 180 or 360 degree panoramic images.
Expeditions Pro supports the use of zip files that are created when you use Google Takeout to download your Tour Creator files. In fact, I’d recommend doing that before Google shutters Tour Creator at the end of the month. (Here’s a video about how to use Google Takeout).
Applications for Education
Once Expeditions Pro leaves beta and becomes available to the general public, I think that it will be a great alternative to Google’s Tour Creator. Students will be able to use it to create their virtual reality tours about local history, about books, about geography, about geology, and many other interesting topics.
I’m hoping that Expeditions Pro is available to the general public in time for the next school year because I’m excited to see what teachers and students will make with it.