Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CoSpaces and Google Street View: Taking it to the next level.

CoSpaces is like the Educational VR gift that keeps on giving.  I have to give them some mad props for rolling out regular new features and then keeping those features free of charge.  In addition to tweaking some of their construction tools and allowing custom start points using the new camera tool, CoSpaces has recently added the ability to use a 360 photo as the environment.  I finally got around to playing with this new feature and it truly does open up a whole new world of possible uses in simple user-created VR scenes.  Here are the steps that I took to get going with 360 photos in CoSpaces.

Either take your own or download a 360 photo from the Internet.  

For those unfamiliar, Google Street View is an amazing website/app for accessing an insane amount of free content by way of 360 photography.

I used the iStreetView website to find my Google Street View photo.

After I had located a photo that I wanted to use in the classroom, I used the StreetView Download app to actually download the photo out of StreetView.  Here is a link to the Windows version and Mac.

Once you have the 360 photo, it really is child's play. has put out a nice little tutorial on how to get the file into your environment.  It doesn't really mention filetypes in the video but I simply used the wide format .jpg that downloaded from the app.

Examples and ideas for the classroom.

Can you imagine being able to show your students a place around the world, have them explore and learn about the space in the classroom, and then finally showcase their learning in a dynamic and engaging way?  Forget PowerPoints or boring slideshows, have the kids do some writing within CoSpaces.  I can envision structuring elementary school age children by providing the 360 photo for them while older kids could research out and find their own compelling 360 photo to match what they are learning.

Have ideas or are you already using CoSpaces 360 photos?  Comment or share what you're doing!

This quick little example took me about 5 minutes to complete following the steps outlined above: (obviously cooler when viewed in VR)