These images will be added to my geographical panoramas page at Juicy Geography. I’ve managed to wear out my trusty tripod and need to buy a new one – so the usual plea about not embedding etc, without a donation applies. I’m working on an alternative way of displaying these images with more features, and without the distracting thumbnails when viewing at full screen.
It’s been an ambition of mine to create my own immersive VR panoramas ever since I first came across the 360 Cities website. After saving up for a decent camera, lens and the requisite tripod technology, I’m finally up and running. I bulked at the cost of stitiching software though, and while I really liked PTgui and would love a copy of Autodesk Stitcher I can’t afford them. Fortunately, Hugin is free, Open Source and totally brilliant. I also use Cubic Converter to extract cube faces from the equirectangular images in order to clone out the tripod.
There’s so much to learn about this form of photography; it’s not quite as easy as I had imagined. Here’s one of the first images I’ve produced:
For Geography teachers the site must surely rate highly in a best of 2008 list. 360 panoramas are nothing new, but the concept of a floating sphere as demonstrated by Digital Urban a while ago has been elevated to a new dimension of user friendliness. The 360 cities site itself is, to be honest, rather confusing at first glance. Once a panorama has been located and opened for viewing, the familiar Google Earth icon appears on the left of the image.
I’ve been teaching about inner city regeneration recently, using my old stomping grounds of Brick Lane and Dockands as examples. Old Truman Brewery on 360 cities
Panorama on 360 cities site
Clicking the icon transports the viewer inside Google Earth and the results are spectacular.
Flying into the panorama
Inside the panorama
Try the following Google Earth links to get the idea:
There are thousands of high quality images to discover at 360 cities. Finally, virtual field trips start to make sense! Once an image has been opened in Google Earth it can easily be saved in the My Places panel – I’m already building a library of VR scenes this way.