Before you upload your scenes (panoramas) into the Publisher, it's important to understand the different building methods. Google allows you to publish using islands or levels. So what's the difference between these two options and how do we use them in TourBuilder?
Originally, levels were created to support businesses with multiple floors, for example, hospitals or apartment complexes. This would allow photographers to avoid having to shoot connecting panoramas (hallways, staircases, etc.) and instead "jump" to the next level.
Island mode (which is sometimes referred to as Hotel mode) was created to accomplish a similar task except without the need to have multiple floors for a building. This was designed for businesses that were very large (i.e. hotels) where the client wanted to show 2 or more specific areas on one floor without having a full walk-through. Islands are best described as "groups" where photographers can group specific scenes in one category (i.e. main entrance, cafeteria, conference room). Islands also work for multi-floor buildings.
1. The default in TourBuilder is islands. If you wish to build with islands, simply click the green "Add island" button to add new islands as needed. Remember that these are organized groups of your scenes.
2. If you wish to work with levels, however, you must convert your islands from islands to levels. To do this, select "convert island to level" in the top right corner of each island.
3. Be sure to give each level a level number* and a level name. A level number tells Google the order it will be placed on the multi-level selector. The level name must be a 1 to 3-letter name that will appear on the level selector. It can be a numerical character or an abbreviation if needed.
*Important: make sure to give each level a unique level number. For example, giving two levels the same number "1" may create publishing issues on Google. Level numbers do not have to be in numerical order - Google will sort out the correct ordering once you publish, but it is crucial to give each level its own unique level number.
Naming Your Islands
It is helpful to name your islands (or scene groups) in TourBuilder. These names are not visible on Google, but are there in TourBuilder to help you stay organized.
These names will also be helpful to you during the Build step, so you can keep track of which section you are working on.
TourBuilder has the capability for you to connect your islands. This means that you can connect a group of scenes to another group of scenes for a complete walk-through. Otherwise, users on Google must scroll through the carousel to find different islands of your tour.
Connecting your islands is only ideal once you've built out your entire tour and placed your appropriate scenes on their respective islands. To connect two islands:
1. Make sure you are on the Build Tour step in the Publisher.
2. Left click the eye icon on the island name to show the island on the map that you wish to connect.
3. The constellation from the island will appear on the map next to constellation you wish to connect to. While holding shift, hover over a constellation point you wish to connect to. A blue dashed lined with appear. Left- click the dashed line to create a connection between these two island constellations.
4. It is important to note that island connections are dashed, and not dotted. A blue dashed line is an unlocked connection. To connect it, left-click and the dashed line will turn red, symbolizing that it's been locked. To remove a connection, right-click a blue or red dashed line.
5. Lastly, when an island is hidden (by toggling the eye icon on the island), it will appear as a red diamond. You can show the island by left-clicking the red diamond or its dashed connection.
Deleting Your Islands
If at any time you find you must delete one of your islands, you will want to be sure that you have completely emptied the island of all photos first. This means that all photos within the island must be unpublished and deleted from the island before you can continue deleting an island.
What's the reason for this? It is possible that users may accidentally delete an island that has published scenes on it. This would mean that the scenes are still published to Google without any way of unpublishing them from TourBuilder.
Need help with these functions while building your tour?
Click Need Help above the constellation map to display a help guide.