Monday, November 23, 2009

Panoramic Earth on TwitterCounter

TwitterCounter is yet another tool slurping data from Twitter and presenting it in visual format. In it you can see trends of how frequently different users are tweeting, who follows them and other statistics. The screenshot below shows the trending graph for Panoramic Earth on the day we signed up for the service. Interestingly, our Twitter profile showed that we had over twice as many followers and lamost 3 times as many tweets as were showing on our TwitterCounter profile. Not quite sure why that should be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Google Image Swirl - Great way to do Image Search

A couple of days ago Google launched a new way of viewing images, the Image Swirl. Still in Beta phase, it attempts to collect groups of related images together, presenting them in clusters. The user selects a cluster of interest, which then expands into it's one circle, still connected to previous 'higher' circles on the tree. In this way you dive down into ever more specific types of images. Concept shown below for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the opening screen showing the main image clusters:

Screenshot of Eiffel Tower top part of Swirl

And then, several steps in showing the expanded, yet still linked, sub sets of images of the Eiffel Tower. Eventually you get to single images which then link to the sites they are placed in. This reminds me a bit of diving into fractal images, but is, naturally, of much more immediate use.

Eiffel Tower - several steps into the Swirl.

It is a much more relaxing and playful way of looking for images than a straight image search.
The rationale and background blurb, taken from the Google Blog, states:
  • 'Back in 2001, to give people a new, quicker way to find images, we launched Image Search. When you do a search for [eiffel tower] you'll find an array of images of the tower in the daytime, in black and white, at sunset and more. With Similar Images, which recently graduated from Google Labs, you can click "Find similar images" to narrow your search to, say, pictures of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Today, we've launched an experimental feature in Labs called Google Image Swirl, which builds on new computer vision research to cluster similar images into representative groups in a fun, exploratory interface.'

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UFO Sighted Beside Road

'Klaus Mayer, a photographer in Australia, recently photographed a UFO beside a road'. The image has attracted a lot of attention since being published, linked to a Google map showing exactly where it was seen.

A fantastic article opener, suitable for an X-files episode. The truth, however, is that this is a sculpture which, being made of scrap metal, is unlikely to fly anywhere fast, and the image a 360 panorama showing the Australian countryside. Just one of several lining the A1 near to Lower Light.

But it made a good headline!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beaches of Phuket 360 Panoramas

Nearly 40 panoramas of the beaches and attractions in Phuket have recently been added to Panoramic Earth. Most of Phuket's beaches line the western side of the island, with the most famous being Patong Beach and Kata Beach, lined with hotels and beach resorts. However, as the virtual tour of Phuket shows, there are numerous other beaches worth exploring. Some of them arguably more beautiful than the popular ones, and certainly less developed.

Patong Beach 360 panorama; © Peter Watts, all rights reserved.Patong Beach 360 panorama; © Peter Watts, all rights reserved.

Phuket has more to offer than just beaches. Worth visiting inland are
Elephant Villages offering elephant trekking rides in the jungle, waterfalls and the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre in Khao Phro Thaeo Wildlife Park. 360 panorama virtual tours of these are also found on the site.

Kata Noi Beach 360 panorama; © Peter Watts, all rights reserved.Kata Noi Beach 360 panorama; © Peter Watts, all rights reserved.

The most luxurious hotels in Phuket have to be those within the Laguna Phuket Resort, where visitors relax by the pools of Allamanda Laguna Phuket Hotel, Banyan Tree Phuket Hotel, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Hotel, Laguna Beach Resort Hotel, Laguna Holiday Resort and Sheraton Grande Laguna Hotel.

Bang Tao Beach 360 panorama; © Peter Watts, all rights reserved.Bang Tao Beach 360 panorama; © Peter Watts, all rights reserved.

All built near the beautiful Bang Tao Beach. See the Phuket Map for more virtual tours and 360 panoramas of the beaches, sights and attractions of Phuket.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Broadway and Battery Place Surge

Yesterday saw a sudden surge in the number of people wanting information about Broadway and Battery Place in New York. Suddenly, from the usual trickle, hundreds of people were viewing the page data, mostly wanting to know where it is and how to get there.

360 panorama of Broadway and Battery Place, New York. © Peter Watts360 panorama of Broadway and Battery Place, New York. © Peter Watts

We are intrigued, and can only guess that there may have been a fireworks display or some such held there. If anyone can shed any light on it we'd love to know!

New Panoramas on Panoramic Earth