Introduction to virtual tours

A virtual tour is a set of web pages that are intended to let a visitor experience a place without actually traveling there.  The web pages in the virtual tour may contain panoramas, ordinary photographs, maps, narration and possible other multimedia objects. 

The web pages in a virtual tour are linked together with hotspots so that a visitor can move easily from one page to another.  Hotspots are hyperlinks embedded in panoramas and other images.  Clicking a hotspot might lead the visitor to another location, give them more information about the current location or show them a detailed view of something in the current image.

A virtual tour may also include a web page that shows small thumbnail images.  This web page may be used as an index to the web pages comprising the tour.

This chapter documents the parts of The Panorama Factory that are designed to help you create virtual tours.

Each one of these tasks is documented in its own section of this chapter.  When you create your own virtual tour, you will stitch, add hotspots, create a web page and create a thumbnail for each panorama in your tour.  You should be familiar with all of these concepts before starting to build your tour.

For an example of a virtual tour created with The Panorama Factory, visit “A Virtual Tour of an Arts & Crafts Style House” at

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Updated: March 6, 2009