ArcGIS CityEngine

360 VR: Create and View 360 VR Experiences on the Web

Virtual Reality (VR) offers unprecedented possibilities for reviewing, analyzing, and comparing projects in planning, AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction) and GIS.

In the past, the high cost of VR devices and rendering hardware, and the non-trivial setup and usage of VR equipment has kept wide-spread adoption of VR at moderate levels.

Current low-cost devices such as the Oculus Quest lift these limitations: the devices run stand-alone and are ergonomically easy to use. Applications can be deployed using web technology, making them accessible to large groups of users.


360 VR: an all-in-one solution for GIS professionals, planners and architects

360 VR is Esri’s lightweight, all-in-one solution for creating and viewing 360-degree panoramic VR experiences. It allows GIS professionals, urban planners, and architects using Web Scenes or CityEngine to author VR experiences consisting of computer-generated panoramic images, multiple viewpoints, and – when using CityEngine – design scenarios.

The experiences are shared to users on ArcGIS Online, and can be viewed in a web browser on XR devices, mobile devices and desktop computers.


Easily create 360 VR Experiences from Web Scenes

With the June 2022 release of ArcGIS Online, you can now create your 360 VR Experiences from Web Scenes with just a few clicks. A scene’s slides are converted into 360 VR viewpoints, and the panoramic imagery is rendered automatically. Other improvements include a fresh and lean UI look and numerous bug fixes.

To learn more about 360 VR Experience creation, please refer to the official documentation.


360 VR runs on all major VR headsets, on mobile devices, and on desktop platforms.


Give it a whirl!

To try it out, go to, where we provide featured experiences at top of the gallery: a detailed architectural project, a Pasadena redevelopment experience, the “interesting places” scene by Deane Kensok for 360 VR, and an experience showing different flooding scenarios for the city of Frankfurt.


About the authors

Dr Stefan Arisona's main interests are in GIS, AEC, computer graphics, game design and digital art. Stefan is a senior principal software engineer at the Esri R&D Center Zurich, where he leads the XR team. He graduated from ETH Zurich, and is a former principal investigator of ETH's Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, where he developed new visualization and simulation methods for architecture, urban planning and design.


Taisha holds degrees in Geomatic Engineering and Arts from the University of Melbourne, as well as an MBA from RWTH Aachen/University of St. Gallen focusing on technology and innovation. Taisha is a Technology Leader in the ESRI R&D Center in Zürich and is interested in all things related to technology, sustainability, art and the entertainment industry.


Avonlea Fotheringham is an Esri Product Marketing Manager for ArcGIS CityEngine. She joined Esri as a Social Media Manager for the ArcGIS Apps suite, using her passion for language and design to evangelize GIS to the world. She is based in Ottawa, Ontario and uses her free time to organize an annual international poetry festival.


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