On a bleak January afternoon, I escaped Cambridge via virtual reality headset to inspect an apartment in Venice. Jim Schoonmaker had rented the place with his family last June, and by taking a few 360-degree digital photos inside, then linking them together, he had created a tour that included the roof deck, the bathroom, and the expansive living room with three big windows overlooking the Grand Canal not far from Piazza San Marco. It was a sunny day in the Italian city, and I wanted to walk out the front door and head for the closest gelateria.

Schoonmaker’s Newton-based company, EveryScape, has been pursuing the goal of creating digital versions of indoor spaces for a decade now. No doubt you’ve seen 360-degree photographs and videos showing up on Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps. But these immersive digital environments are still disconnected from one another; there’s no way for me to get from Schoonmaker’s apartment to the gelato shop to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, even if all three had created their own virtual tours. When it comes to these digital versions of real-world environments, “you can’t get there from here” is not actually a joke.

There’s lots of buzz these days about virtual reality technology and ideas for how it could be used, from education to architecture to gaming to shopping. But much of what people are talking about are three-dimensional environments that you can amble around freely, picking up objects or rearranging furniture to see how it would look. What EveryScape has been working on is a simpler approach: Snap two-dimensional panoramic photos of a space, and enable the viewer to stand in the spot where the photographer was and look around. You can “teleport” from one room to an adjacent one, but you can’t really walk there or grab an item in the room to inspect it. (One big plus: You can view the content on the Web or a mobile phone, without special VR goggles or glasses.)

EveryScape has been around since 2002, when it was founded as Mok3, and has been working on capturing indoor spaces since 2007. Even before that, in 1995, Apple’s QuickTime VR technology allowed people to post 360-degree environments on the Web. But one of the few places they’ve caught on is in the real estate industry, where higher-end houses on the market sometimes feature virtual tours.