Spherical Panoramas

I’m always interested in finding new ways to combine my photographic skills with interactive technology.

A couple of years ago I experimented with panoramic photos taken through a complete 360 degrees, stitched together, and then animated inside a Flash player to enable the user to scroll left or right and explore different aspects of the view. I incorporated these panoramas into a Google Maps interface, to provide a ‘virtual tour’ experience for the website of a local country park and nature reserve.

More recently I’ve taken this to its logical conclusion and stitched together full spherical panoramas, which not only scroll horizontally through 360 degrees, but also up to a ‘zenith’ in the sky and down to a ‘nadir’ beneath the viewer’s hypothetical feet, through 180 vertical degrees.

When viewed in a dedicated Flash or Shockwave player the effect is suitably immersive. Click the images below to be transported (requires Adobe Shockwave).

RSPB Lodmoor

RSPB Lodmoor 360° x 180° Panorama

And this wintry scene from RSPB Arne after an unusual snowy spell:

RSPB Arne

RSPB Arne 360° x 180° Panorama

To make this exercise worthwhile you ideally want plenty of interest in the upper and lower extremities of the scene. Architectural interiors work well for this reason, as do dramatic cloudscapes.

* Shockwave wizardry courtesy of SPi-V – developed by the very talented Aldo Hoeben.

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