A virtual tour is a great resource to use for managing and marketing a heritage site. Whether a local history site or a global heritage location, any tourist avenue involved in showing history and heritage will profit from using a virtual tour. If you are interested in using a 3D virtual environment for a heritage site, what is the tour useful for, and how do you determine what to build into the 3D environment?
From marketing to construction management, there are many uses for a virtual walk-through of a heritage site; there are as many types and structural systems in a virtual tour as there are uses for the technology. In the following article, we will demonstrate multiple uses of an online heritage site and what your organization should look for from a 3D engineering team in building a virtual environment.
How to Use a Virtual Tour
Offer Tours Online
Your heritage site will be able to increase the value of what you offer to people through online tours. This expands your mission and vision in several ways that we will talk about later. One important aspect to offering virtual tours of a heritage site is the fact that many aspects of a virtual tour are worth charging admission. An online tour that is worth charging for can include a membership site with members-only content available in the tour, an interactive 3D environment, or just a donation-based virtual environment for donors to spend time.
Shows Your Heritage Site to the World
One of the key attributes of being a heritage site is that you need private and governmental support in order to keep the site active and maintained. One of the best ways to increase support and show your site to relevant government agencies is to provide a virtual tour online.
Virtual tours often require the same architecture that goes into designing an actual location. And because of this need for functionality, Heritage sites can use online and virtual tours as valuable resources.
Saves Money and Time
Many Heritage sites require extensive remodeling as part of their nonprofit mission. Since a remodeling project includes design and CAD work, integrating a virtual tour with additional engineering and design is a good way to cut costs and increase fundraising opportunities. Not only is a 3D tour integrated with CAD good on the pocketbook, it also saves time when it comes to managing volunteer and other construction teams.
A virtual tour can be used for training and planning if the heritage site management team brings in construction workers from out of the area. This way the construction team plans out their work before going to the site. They are also able to budget accordingly.
Improves Access to Facilities
Many heritage sites need brochures and guides in multiple languages in order to serve the nationalities of the people who come to visit their site. If you need to have brochures or other guides in multiple languages, it is possible to use a virtual tour with augmented reality (think a phone app with camera integration or glasses) to walk people through self-guided tours no matter their nationality.
Additionally, people who have hearing or seeing difficulties will be able to use a phone or other technological device to get access to information regarding your business using an augmented reality walk-through of the heritage site.
Increases Educational Opportunities
One of the reasons people enjoy and protect Heritage sites is to educate the younger Generations about significant events, architecture, and art that happened on the site. This educational goal is greatly enhanced through the use of a virtual tour.
Since many educational groups need to study before they come on the tour, virtual environments will give teachers and other Educators the tools necessary to engage their students. For example, many schools need to use a virtual environment to prepare for the upcoming trip to a heritage site. This will give the class the ability to ask questions and explore before they go there. When the students are there they will spend their time engaging the history and the Heritage rather than trying to learn everything in one gulp.
This educational value is perhaps the greatest reason a heritage site should use a 3D tour as a part of their Promotional and educational materials.
What To Look For in 3D Rendering
Selecting the right 3D rendering company is an essential part of creating an online or offline virtual environment. Depending on the uses of the environment, there are many factors to consider when selecting a BIM or 3D rendering company.
BIM vs 3D Rendering
The first factor to consider is the difference between BIM and 3D rendering. They are significantly different and make an impact on the end product and how you can use it for your heritage site. BIM, or Building Information Modeling, is the art of creating a multi-layered 3D drawing of an entire structure and its systems. From electrical and plumbing design to steel structures, BIM integrates the various aspects of a building project and provides accurate plans for everyone to use.
As such, BIM is not useful for a virtual tour on its own. But, if your virtual tour is going to also be used to manage different maintenance projects or construction work, you might want to consider including BIM in the production of a virtual environment. On the other hand, if all you want is a virtual walk-through for educational, marketing, or training purposes, then a 3D rendering of the environment will be more than adequate.
Engineering vs Real Estate Specialists
There are many 3D environment photographers in municipalities around the globe. Usually pitching real estate virtual tours, residential photography and more, these photographers are an excellent resource for getting high-quality images necessary in creating a virtual tour for a historical site. But, they are often not trained to create a long-lasting environment that will be useful in your site’s marketing and educational materials in years to come.
Much of a heritage environment’s value is defined by what lies behind the surface. History, engineering, and form are important and are not always going to be included in a real-estate walk through that is designed to facilitate a quick turnaround on a home. An engineering team will be able to take images and building specs and ensure that the tour has the virtual infrastructure necessary to grow with your projects in the future. An engineered 3D environment will have room to grow designed into its very architecture, enabling your organization to use the 3D walk through even if you expand or do substantial renovations.
A 3D walkthrough from a real estate perspective is not going to be designed with evergreen content and growing projects in mind. If possible, use a professional real estate photographer to get images of the site as it is, and use a 3D environment engineering team to build out the virtual world.
A virtual environment, when designed with an engineering background and tailored to your organization’s unique needs, is a tremendous asset for a heritage site. Whether you are looking to increase educational opportunities, manage marketing systems, or manage your facilities strategy, a virtual environment is an innovative method of doing so. As 3D engineering and image specialists, The Engineering Design Team hopes to be a part of your next virtual project.