Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas from Panoramic Earth

Wishing all our readers and site users all the blessings of the season and a great start to 2011. To round off the year, here is a fantastic panorama taken by Malcolm Etherington of a snow-covered Lyme Regis and coast in the UK after unusually cold weather. Thanks and enjoy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beaches in the NightTime

Praia da Lagoinha is a very pretty beach in Ubatuba, Brazil. When sitting in the depths of the cold, English winter, one can be look longingly at the stretches of sand and sea, viewed here at sunset under a full moon.

Much thanks to Emilio Campi for sharing this image with us. Can we come and visit please?

Monday, December 20, 2010

London in the Snow, December 2010

Regents Canal in after Snow, December 2010. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

Once again London was covered in snow, and once again the news became snow-obsessed. And yet, much of the infrastructure in the capital kept running, with only 5% of bus routes affected much. However, traffic levels were greatly reduced and the airports closed, making the pace of life and noise levels much more pleasant. Though bemoaned by many, snow is welcome by many as well, who make the most of the opportunity to throw the stuff around, roll about in it, slide down hills on it and build stuff out of it.

This panoramas below shows how snow can transform a scene, creating a little magic for those who stop complaining long enough to enter in.

And nearby is Primrose Hill, whose southern slope provides both excellent views over the snow-covered city, and equally fantastic tobogganing opportunities. In an almost 'anything goes' manner, all kinds of objects are used to slide down the slope. Even lying on other people (hopefully friends) seemed acceptable, with trays, cases and road signs converted into possible toboggans for the afternoon.

Tobogganing on Primrose Hill, December 2010. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

Friday, December 17, 2010

Canon EF Lenses - Change your Photography

Canon produce a vast range of EF lenses for their EOS cameras, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to buy a new digital camera. Not only that, the range continues to expand and grow, allowing budding photographers also to explore new areas of photography. Canon EF lenses are among the best in the world, they were the first to successfully commercialize Ultrasonic motor (USM) lenses, fast, silent and precise autofocus. Many of the lenses also have image stabilization (IS) or hybrid IS technology. This provides compensation for hand-shake in low-light, slow exposure settings, making photography even easier.

Canon EF Lenses

Canon EF Lenses

This video below provides an excellent introductory tutorial into Canon EF lenses.

Before starting out on selecting a Canon lens, it is always important to ask what kind of photography you want to do. However, whether you are interested in wide angle, scenic shots, macro work or need zoom for wildlife photography, Canon have got it covered.

The Canon EF lenses are identified by several factors:
  • Focal Length – given in mm, with low numbers providing wide angle images and higher focal lengths providing greater magnification of long-range objects, but with a narrower field of view. The Canon EF range is very diverse, covering 8mm fisheye lenses through to 1200mm lenses.
  • Aperture – marked as f/1.0 or similar. The number indicates the lowest setting at which that lens will work. A lower f value indicates that the lens will allow more light in and therefore work in lower light conditions.
  • Macro – these EF lenses are specifically designed for very close up work, and the work best for these kind of images. So, if your thing is photographing details of stitching or capturing bug-eyes and mushroom gills, then this is the thing to look out for.
  • USM – The lens has an ultrasonic motor for focussing. These motors are faster and quieter than other types of auto-focus motors and consume les power.
  • IS – EF lenses marked IS have image stabilization technology built in.
  • DO lens – These EF lenses have special Diffractive Optics glass and are usually smaller, lighter and perform better than non-DO lenses. Be prepared to pay for them.
  • L-Series – the EF lens ‘Luxury’ series, top of the line, with the best optical qualities and build, and with a price tag to match. They all have DO lens technology. Unless you have a lot of money, are mad about your photography or a professional, the L-series are what most of us drool over from a distance.

So there is a brief overview of lens nomenclature. The best way to choose a lens is to find a friend and see if they will be willing to let you use their kit. If you have that kind of friend be very grateful. Otherwise, make sure you can try them out in the shop, even have an attendant stand with you as you shoot some frames on your own body from the shop door. Of course, often budget plays an unfortunately limiting role in the lenses we can buy.

If you are buying a new lens, consider the kit lens, if it is of good quality. These often cover the range of circumstances most of us are likely to find ourselves in. The EF 24-105mm IS USM lens I have covers pretty much all I need for most things. The quality of the images has been great, and the IS has helped greatly in photographing moving objects like birds from a boat.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Edinburgh in the Snow

Edinburgh, like much of the rest of Britain, has been covered in snow in recent days. Stuart Robertson, one of our intrepid photographers, has been out and about capturing some of the scenes of the city. Nothing shows the scene more clearly than the view from the top of Nelsons Monument in the heart of the city, shown below:

Less than a mile from the centre of Edinburgh is Holyrood Park, dominated by the Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat. These snow covered slopes provide another stunning view over the city, as well as a fantastic playground for snow fights, tobogganing and sledging.

Snow has the magical effect of transforming buildings. And so it has transformed the appearance of the Scottish Parliament building opposite the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Built to remind people of the Scottish landscape, the snow covered building now blends in well with Salisbury Crags behind it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Wonders of Vienna

Vienna, the capital city of Austria, has much to offer visitors year round. With many magnificent historical buildings and world-class museums, the historical center of Vienna is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vienna is also considered a fantastic place to live, being recently ranked 1st out of 127 world cities for quality of life.

Panorama of Michaelerplatz supplied by Panoramic Earth

During the summer, people freely wander through beautiful parks and squares, browse the museums and markets. In the winter there is the famous Christmas market held outside the Rathaus, the wonders of the Prater park and amusements and numerous concerts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Panorama near Dent de Jaman

Demonstrating the ability to embed a single Virtual Tour panorama, this cylindrical image shows the view from Dent de Jaman, a 1875m high mountain rising above Montreux, situated north of Rochers de Naye in the Vaud region of Switzerland.

Panorama of Near the Dent de Jaman supplied by Panoramic Earth

Anyone can embed any panorama from Panoramic Earth in a non-commercial website for free. Whole regional tour options are also available, showing a collection of images linked to a map of the area.

Friday, November 19, 2010

360 Panoramas from Herman Desmet

Panoramic Earth welcomes Herman Desmet as one of the latest contributors to our growing collection of virtual tours from around the world. His latest photos can be found on his Contributed Panoramas page.

(c) Herman Desmet - all rights reserved - used by permssion

Based in Belgium, he began taking photos about 15 years ago, first as a hobby developing into a real passion and also studied photography at the local art school. Being a keen mountaineer gave him ample opportunity for fantastic landscape and nature photos. However, he has also built up experience with studio and portrait work. His pictures have been published in magazines like National Geographic as well as various newspapers. Some of his work can be found on his website; Herman Demset Photographie, and also on his personal blog.

(c) Herman Desmet - all rights reserved - used by permssion

Herman has lately specialized in architecture, real-estate and panorama photography, expanding into 360° panoramas and virtual tours for internet use. He feels that nowadays everybody can make digital photos, but doing a perfect 360°-180°VR panorama is a skill on its own requiring special equipment and lots of practice, patience and knowledge of photography to get the best results. But when you succeed in making a gorgeous digital 360 panorama, it amazes people like they were amazed in the pre-internet era when they saw a huge print of a fantastic picture.

And, for Herman, amazing people is what his photography is all about.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Panoramic Earth Visits the World Travel Market 2010

Our team has just spent 3 days walking the stands at the World Travel Market 2010 in the Exel centre in London. Over that time we managed to talk the the tourist boards or marketing folk of almost every country represented about how they could use Panoramic Earth to promote their regions. On the whole the response has ranged from interested to very positive, so hopefully during 2011 we will be announcing a series of partnership arrangements to promote various destinations.

The WTM is massive, with thousands of exhibitors from all sectors of the travel industry. Walking round the stands and networking for 8 hours a day has had a toll, both on legs and voices, but has been very worthwhile, and fascinating to see how the different countries and regions represent themselves at the fair. Naturally, the largest parties seemed to be held on stands from Latin America or the Caribbean.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome to Henry Stuart and Spherical Images Ltd

Henry Stuart is one of the latest photographers to join the growing list of contributors on Panoramic Earth. He has over 5 years experience in the industry and is the founder of Spherical Images Ltd, 'a London-based virtual tour company, providing HD quality virtual tours...allowing clients to bring their venues to the customer with unparalleled impact and quality'.

Through his work and passion, Henry has photographed many of the top locations within the UK, including the top of the Swiss Re (Gherkin) building, Royal Albert Hall and the London Aquarium. As shown below, he is not adverse to working in challenging and dangerous conditions.

Say Hello to a Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon (c) Henry Stuart, used by permission

Henry says one of the most scary asignments he has done was creating a Virtual Tour of the Komodo Dragon, Raja, at London Zoo. The experience involved getting close up and personal with the dragon, which attacked the camera and then chased the curator round the enclosure as he tried to rescue the camera gear from a very sticky end. Henry says the kit had to be chemically disinfected by zoo specialists and still smelt of Komodo spit months later!

They had just one take, which caught this amazing image of the dragon head on. In the end, completing the shot in the Komodo Dragon enclosure was too risky, and the image was super-imposed on a tour created of the less-life-threatening, adjacent turtle enclosure, which explains the presence of the turtle in another part of the virtual tour.

Some of his favourite images can be found Spherical Images with many being uploaded also on Panoramic Earth.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Panorama Embedding Not Possible in Wordpress

Sadly, Wordpress does not allow the use of various htm tags that are often used to embed content within blogs. These include the object, embed and iframe tags. Wordpress also disables any posting of Javascript from most sites, though there may be ways round this.

The sad result of this is that, currently, you can not easily embed content from Panoramic Earth into Wordpress blogs or pages. If this changes in the future then we will naturally shout about it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Embed Single Panorama Option Launched

Panoramic Earth has just launched the ability for non-commercial websites to embed individual 360° panoramas within your own websites for free. So creators of blogs, personal sites etc can now embed stunning, full screen panoramas within their pages, absolutely free. Please see the Terms and Conditions for details, register with Panoramic Earth and follow the procedure given below.

Embedding Panoramas Step 1

Below every panorama is an EMBED button, as shown below. Simply click on this to start the procedure.
embed single 360 panorama step 1
Embedding Panoramas Step 2
Select the Single Image Embedding radial and then click on Continue as shown below.

embed single 360 panorama step 2
Embedding Panoramas Step 3
the height and width you want to have on your site. The code will be recalculated. Then click on Select to select all the code presented as shown below. Simply copy this and paste it into your web page. Job done. The code must be used in it's entirety, without changing any part of it. This is part of the T&C's for this service.
embed single 360 panorama step 3

Embedding Panoramas - The Result And the result is a stunning image within your website, as shown here for the Colosseum in Rome.

Panorama of Colosseum of Rome supplied by Panoramic Earth

Enjoy. If enough people ask for alternative methods of embedding, such as iframes, then we will look into implementing these too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Embedding Single Images

This is a test post to try out tow different versions of ways to embed single images from Panoramic Earth onto blogs. At some point, at least one of these methods will become obsolete so one of these embedded images may fail to work in the future.

Javascript Embedding

Iframe Embedding

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ZeelandNet Nominates Panoramic Earth Website of the Day

On the 29th October ZeelandNet nominated Panoramic Earth is the Website of the Day (Site van de Tag) on it's homepage. ZeelandNet linked to Panoramic Earth with the tag line: "Panoramafoto's van over de hele wereld" (Panorama photos from over the whole world), which accurately capturing part of the aims of the site.

For us this was a fantastic recommendation, as ZeelandNet is one of the most popular web portals in the Netherlands, and in the whole world with an Alexa traffic rank of about 23,000. To be promoted by such a website is the fruit of a lot of hard work by both the photographers, writers and programmers behind Panoramic Earth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Panoramic Earth Ranked in Internet 100

Increasingly growing in popularity over recent months, Panoramic Earth has now been ranked by among the top 100 websites. Mentioned as 'Panoramafoto's van over de hele wereld' (Panorama-photos from over the whole world), this precisely captures the heart of Panoramic Earth which, now with nearly 6000 full screen 360° panoramas, continues in it's aim to build a virtual tour of the earth.

More than just an 360° panoramic image library, this collaborative project now involves over 60 photographers and features images from over 60 countries, with strong representation from Europe and Australasia in particular. You can follow the latest additions via the New Images page or through Panoramic Earth's Twitter feed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monaco Tourist Attractions Tour

Monaco is famous for luxury hotels, luxury yachts and the Monte Carlo Casino. It is also full of important historical sites, museums and other attractions, mostly focussed around Monaco-Ville, the old part of Monaco.

Thanks to Isabel Marques, Panoramic Earth has a growing tour of Monaco which shows interactive, 360° panoramas taken of some of the main sights and attractions. A complete index of Monte Carlo attractions and lists of images tagged Monaco also help users explore the various locations and attractions featured.

As with other Panoramic Earth tours, the Monaco map, guide and virtual tour can be embedded in other sites as interactive content.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Improvements to Image Uploading

Panoramic Earth has recently launched a new uploading procedure for adding 360° panoramas to the site. In response to user observations, and fully described on the Panorama Upload Help page, the new method allows:
  • Batch uploading of panoramas to an individual holding area.
  • Automatic detection of Cylindrical and Spherical panorama format.
  • Automatic check compatibility of image with site requirements.
  • Individual image management, editing, and allocation to a specific location within the site.
  • Modular system allows you to upload now and complete the process at a later time.
  • Faster uploading and fewer failed uploads.
With nearly 100 contributing photographers and 6,000 panoramas worldwide, we will continue to work on improving the site layout and function. Any and all feedback on this new process gratefully received!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Promoted on Radio Bremen

Panoramic Earth is gaining increasing exposure and commendation throughout the internet. Two recent recommendations coming from:

  1. Radio Bremen's Surftipps Section - Die Welt als Panorama article commends Panoramic earth for clarity, high resolution images, clear mapping in information about nearby locations.

  2. ClicRBS - major Brazilian portal website recommends Panoramic Earth's Budapest Tour with coverage of the major sites in the city.
These are just two of the recent articles written about the site, which now has nearly 6,000 panoramas from all over the world.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Panoramic Earth Supports Pestival and Termites

Pestival 'celebrates the art of being an insect through awe-inspiring hands-on and multi-platform events and ideas, leading up to a biennial festival with a local and global reach.' As part of the project they created the Termite Pavilion - a model of the inside of a termite mound, scaled up to human size from a 3D scan of a termite mound from Namibia.

Inside Pestival's Termite Pavilion in London ZooInside Pestival's Termite Pavilion. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

The resulting structure, made from sustainable Austrian spruce laminate, currently stands in London Zoo, one of the top London attractions, next to the Bird Display Area and close to the Bearded Pig enclosure and London Zoo restaurants.

London Zoo is a ticketed attraction in London and very popular. London Pass holders get free entrance to the zoo and jump the queues.

This virtual tour was kindly taken for Pestival, fee of charge, by Peter Watts and Panoramic Earth is pleased to be able to support this project with free image hosting and distribution.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Panoramic Views from Apple

Digital panoramas are an incredible sight to behold and can be displayed across a variety of technologies including; the internet, web browsers, DVDs, CDs, and a computer’s hard drive. Each of these choices have their own separate limitations depending on your viewing options. Today, there are quite a few different playback applications, especially for Apple devices, from which you can display panoramas.

First of all it is worth knowing that there is no special type of equipment required to view panoramas, though Apple devices are ideal for many people. It is possible to view panoramas on just about any modern computer operating system without the use of a special display or projector. Just make sure that your monitor is properly calibrated for colour. And in most cases, there is no special software needed – but if there is for the device you’re using it is easily accessible and usually comes with the product you have purchased.

As we all know computer hardware and software evolves very quickly. That means that the technology for viewing panoramas improves frequently and it may be difficult to set specific standards for the minimum system requirements for displaying digital panoramas effectively. It is helpful the know that the newer your computer or device, the better the panoramic display will likely be. If you are shopping for new computer equipment, try doing a search for PC World discount vouchers to save a little money on your purchase.

As mentioned, the main methods of accessing and viewing panoramas include the web browser, DVD, and a hard drive. However, the playback applications include the QuickTime Player Pro, Java, iPix, SpinControl, ActiveX, and Flash. In most cases, QuickTime is ideal for Apple computers and devices. It is also possible for some of these players to be embedded into the HTML of a webpage, so that visitors to your website can benefit from any panoramas that you upload.

For many photography and computer enthusiasts, Apple computers and devices are the top of the line. More and more people today are turning to Apple products for their work and entertainment solutions, ranging from the iMac to the MacBook Pro to the iPod and the iPhone. Many people even use the newly released iPad for sharing photos and viewing panoramas.

It is possible to purchase Apple devices from a number of places. In fact, those looking to save a little money may opt to use PC World discount codes for significant discounts on Apple products. However, most Apple devices can be bought online at reasonable prices or directly from the Apple store online, though shopping around may allow you to save on shipping, tax, and overall cost. Regardless of where you do your shopping, you should always do plenty of research before making that final purchase. Do you want a laptop or a desktop computer with a fancy large monitor? Is an iPod or iPad enough to view your pictures? It all just comes down to how good you want your panoramic views to look when displayed.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post, the views expressed herein may not be those held by Panoramic Earth.

Monday, July 19, 2010

WCCI 2101 uses Panoramic Earth

The Barcelona tour on Panoramic Earth has been recommended by the 2010 WCCI (World Congress on Computational Intelligence). The interactive map and tour is listed as on of the Barcelona Maps on their 'getting about' page. The whole tour is shown below. It can be embedded on any site following instructions on the Use a Tour page.

Barcelona tour provided by Panoramic Earth. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Virtual Tour of Florence

360 panorama of Florence from Giotto's CampanileFlorence from Giotto's Campanile. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

Florence is one of the top travel and tourist destinations in Italy. At the heart of Tuscany, and once the capital of a united Italy, Florence is full of history, historical buildings and famous works of art. This new Florence virtual tour shows 360 panoramas of the sights and attractions, churches, public squares and other views.

360 panorama of Florence from Santa Trinita BridgeFlorence from Ponte Santa Trinita. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

As usual with Panoramic Earth, these 50+ images are all accompanied with some local and travel information, and can be embedded by other websites as their own content. Included within the tour are stunning panoramas taken around Florence Cathedral, including a unique virtual tour of the interior of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, taken as not even local Florentines see it, without people present.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Viewing 360 Panoramas on iPad and iPhone

Krpano has been quick to take up the challenge of providing a way to view 360 panoramas on iPhone and iPad devices. Neither the iPhone or iPad support Flash, preventing many applications most web users take for granted, including the most popular panorama viewers, from working on them.

Krpano have already released a Javascript based viewer that uses CSS 3D transforms to display the panoramas. Currently there are still limitations, the CSS 3D transforms used are only available as Webkit extensions in the Mobile Safari and in the Mac Safari Browsers, and the viewer will only work with Cubic panoramas.

No doubt, further developments will follow, and it will not be long before Spherical, Equirectangular, Cylindrical, Small Planet, Partial panoramas and all the other projections we like to play around with will work on these mobile devices. At Panoramic Earth, we will follow this with keen interest, and are already seeking ways of implementing this for the panoramas we have.

Flash will probably still remain popular for many panorama viewers, but this demonstrates once again how fast technology moves on the web, and how quickly developers respond to the new opportunities and challenges.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Taste of Spain, London 6th June

On the 6th of June London will see the Taste of Spain festival occupying the whole of Regent Street, between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, in the heart of central London.

Supported by the Spanish Tourist Office, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the free festival will welcome many of the Spanish regions who will add colour and flair to the capital. With giant paellas, flamenco music, medieval food markets and a range of interactive sports challenges and events, visitors will be whisked away for a day to Spain's sunnier shores.

On the 24th and 25th July the Taste of Spain festival can be found on The Mound in Edinburgh.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Language Translations

While Panoramic Earth is set up with English as the main site, we recognize that many people are interested in adding information about their places in other languages. To help with that, members can apply for access to the language admin options within their profiles. This enables you to:
  • Provide local translations for the country, region and image title.
  • Manage translations for specific locations.
  • Provide local and travel information in local language.
  • Change relevant meta-data to optimize these language pages within search engines.
  • Link to other pages within the site.
We will continue to provide and edit English texts for locations. These pages within the site contain some advice and help with this:
  • Editing Style - help about the writing style used on Panoramic Earth and easy way to link images together.
  • Destination Admin Help - walk-through guide to accessing and editing location procedures.
  • Translation Help - walk-through guide to the language admin sections.
These systems are already finding much support, as Manuel Ruiz says; 'Fantastic, and now I can translate the comments into Spanish. It's great! Now I can show people who speak Spanish and not English some views of my city.'

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Version of Embedded Tours

Panoramic Earth provides the opportunity to use our virtual tours as embedded content in 3rd party sites, as described on our Use a Tour page. With the launch of the new site, the style and content of these tours has been updated and the new versions are now being automatically served to our current clients.

Changing Tour Height and Width
Due to popular demand we have added the flexibility for users to alter the height of the panoramas and the maps within the tours. Within the code the following parameters can now be set:
  • width - the width of the iframe (default = 600)
  • height - the height of the iframe (default = 750 for free tours)
  • maph - height of the map within the tour (default = 200)
  • panh- height of the panorama within the tour (default = 220)
Where to put the changes
The default code supplied do not include maph and panh perameters. These must be entered after the key= parameter in the code.

Standard code:
<iframe name="panearthtour" id="panearthtour" width="600" height="750" frameborder="0" src="
key=nDA4ZSBP6v9xRjHkF8RU5dMIsZupIz7T391486bd2c3630f1de37e338eda7f514">This tour of Oahu requires iframes. If you cannot see the tour then please go to the <a href=" States of America/Oahu">Oahu page on Panoramic Earth</a>.</iframe>
Amended Code (changes in red):
<iframe name="panearthtour" id="panearthtour" width="600"
height="880" frameborder="0" src="
&maph=300&panh=250">This tour of Oahu requires iframes. If you cannot see the tour then please
go to the <a href="
States of America/Oahu">Oahu page on Panoramic Earth</a>.</iframe>

  • The height of the iframe must be adjusted accordingly.
  • Some panoramas on the sight have heights around 300 pixels high. Setting the panh parameter higher than this may result in pixilation of some images on your tour.
  • In the future we will add a simple way of doing this as you create your tour on Panoramic Earth before you are given your code.
Examples of embeded tours can be found on:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Singapore - High Resolution Panoramas

360 panorama of Singapore City from Raffles Landing SiteRaffles Landing Site, Singapore. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

There are now over 100, high resolution, 360° virtual tour panoramas from Singapore now on Panoramic Earth. These images cover many of the sights and attractions of Singapore city and the wider island. They show various shots of the skyscrapers around Boat Bay and Clarke Quay, but also the interior of many temples and churches, some from Singapore Zoo and some of Sentosa Island.

The latest image is a hand-held panorama taken inside the shark's tunnel at the Underwater World Attraction on Setnosa Island, shown below.

360 panorama from the shark tunnel of the Underwater World in SingaporeSharks Tunnel - Underwater World, Singapore. 360 panorama (c) Peter Watts - all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Panoramic Earth - New Site Launched!

Panoramic Earth (v3.0) is finally here. After months of planning and effort the new site has finally arrived. The site has many new features and a completely new look and feel, making it easier to navigate and more informative. Among the new features include:

  • Accepts Spherical as well as Cylindrical panoramas.
  • Faster loading flash panorama viewer.
  • Full screen viewing options of high resolution images.
  • Easy to follow upload interface.
  • Multi-language support.
  • Updated, faster Google maps.
  • Special Article pages.

This, however is not the end, we will continue working to add more features in the future. Please come and visit the new site, and leave feedback in the comments below. We would really like to know of development ideas you may have - you never know, we may well pick it up and add it to the next list! Happy viewing, Panoramic Earth Team

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Panoramic Earth v3.0 - Nearly There

New Panoramic Earth Homepage

As mentioned previously, Panoramic Earth is undergoing a major overhaul. We are nearly ready to launch the new version of the site - This will include several major improvements like:
  • Complete redesign of the layout and feel, with much improved functionality
  • Changes to the image uploading procedures.
  • Use of high resolution images.
  • Full screen viewing options.
  • Cylindrical (panoramas that go round and round) and Spherical (pan up and down as well) images.
  • Updating to the latest Google maps API
  • Embedding of individual images as well as regional tours
  • Better image searching, clearer tables of images.
These changes will improve the quality of work our contributors are able to display, and create a much improved experience for our visitors. Many of the basic principles will remain the same with the panoramas still linked to Google maps, and we will still intend to create a description of each one answering the 'What is it, where is it, how do I get there and what is nearby?' questions. For our contributors this means that in a short while we will be disabling new uploads to the old version during the changeover, which is expected to take a couple of days. For our visitors, it should be a fairly seamless experience, though don't be tempted to think you have come to the wrong place when it happens!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Panoramic Earth about to Change

The New Site Screenshot

Screenshot of new layout for PanoramicEarth.comFor several months now we have been working on a major site upgrade for Panoramic Earth, completely redesigning the look, feel and functionality of the site. The good news is that the principles remain the same, still showing great 360 panoramas from around the world from panoramic photographers. Still linking the images to Google maps with local and travel information.

The better news is that the site will be easier to navigate, better to look at and have much more functionality. These two screen shots show some of the differences to be expected:

The Old Site Screenshot
Screenshot of old layout for
  • Much cleaner feel and navigation.
  • Immediate presentation of some local information without scrolling down.
  • Thumbnails linking to nearby images.
  • Incorporation of the Krpano flash panorama viewer giving smoother action.
  • Larger, high resolution images suitable for full screen viewing.
  • Ability to display both spherical and cylindrical 360 panoramas.
  • Ability to embed single images as well as whole regional tours.
  • Local directory for each destination covered giving local travel links.
Most of the work is now completed and we expect to be able to announce a 'go live' date soon. The use of high resolution images, and incorporation of spherical panoramas, will mean some changes to the uploading and editing procedures for photographers, but this will remain a relatively simple affair.

We are very excited about these changes, offering a much better viewing experience for our visitors and expand the services we can offer the travel industry and community. 2010 will be a year of change, expansion and improvement for us.

New Panoramas on Panoramic Earth