Panoramic photography refers to the art of capturing and creating panoramas. A panoramic image is typically characterised by a large width to height ratio. This can either be achieved by cropping a “normal” image, by using a panoramic camera which “scans” a significantly larger horizontal field of view than a traditional camera, or by “stitching” several adjacent pictures together into a single, wide view.
Thanks to major advances in digital photography and software development, panoramic photographers now have access to unprecedented possibilities and incredible image quality. They can capture as wide a field of view as they like, all the way to 360° horizontally and 180° vertically! This means that from a given point in space every possible angle and view is covered.
A panoramic image can either be viewed like a traditional photograph (albeit with some amount of perceived “distortion” around the top- and bottom edge), but it is a much more immersive and exciting experience to watch the image with an interactive viewer, giving the observer full control over which part and perspective of the image he wants to see.
That way, he has confidence that nothing has been hidden from his view. The panoramic viewer gives a much stronger feeling of presence than a traditional photo.
To interact with a panoramic viewer, click and drag your mouse in the viewer window. You can use the [Shift] keys to zoom in, and [Ctrl] to zoom out.
Try it out in any of the panoramas here!
The interactivity of panoramic images on the computer does not end there. Several panoramas can easily be joined together to form a “virtual tour”. For instance, you can look around in one room, then click on the (specially highlighted) doorway to move on to the next room, or click on a window to see an outside view of the place. This gives the viewer the illusion of walking around the place at their own leisure.
But why not try it out for yourself!
Virtual tours are an ideal promotional tool for hotels, spas, recreation centers, parks etc. as they allow potential visitors to have a look around the place before they book, giving them confidence and assurance of the quality of the establishment. See for instance this interesting article how virtual tours can help increase your business.
Panoramas and virtual tours are typically shown using Adobe Flash® based viewers. As this technology not broadly supported on mobile devices, an alternative way of rendering the panoramas had to be found.
If your device does not have the Adobe Flash® Player installed, you will automatically be presented with a HTML5/CSS3/WebGL based viewer, hoping that your browser at least supports these modern web standards.
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