Virtual site visits

Virtual Site Visits Whilst clearly not appropriate or applicable to every planning application or development proposal it is the case that densely urban sites, those in vastly remote areas or those which concern sensitive or otherwise inaccessible and potentially dangerous locations can in some circumstances be appraised remotely. Proportionate checks and balances in addition to available resources will clearly apply dependent on the digital tool and location in question. However, equally it is also recognised that the opportunity afforded by virtual site visits can reduce applications processing times, improve stakeholder knowledge of locations and conceivably highlight constraints or issues not otherwise recognisable. It is not envisaged nor appropriate for digital tools to replace professional and balanced decision making but rather to support consistency, collaboration and communication in planning authorities or other decision makers doing so.

GIS virtual Tours

GIS has made virtual tours possible through 360 VR and Meta headsets. 360 VR is allowing town planners and other related professions to view 360-degree panoramic virtual reality experiences. This can be shared through ArcGIS Online. Some examples can be viewed on the below link:
360 VR (

3d Field Trips in ArcGIS Online

You can navigate to place and save these through ArcGIS online. You can add in buildings and identify those that are to be in, for example, flood risk areas. Map layers can also be turned on and off using the tools available. With attribute data, it is possible to review what affected buildings might be used for in the future. The measuring tool can also be used, which may give a greater understanding of, for example, why some locations are at a greater risk of flooding than others. Web scenes and slides can be saved through an ArcGIS online account.

Storytelling Solutions for Professional or Personal Use (

Links to training on 'Virtual site visits'

Link to related content View related development training resources