Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hi, look around!

We just released a new feature in Panoramio that allows you to browse photos simulating a 3D environment. You can jump from one photo to the closest one, walking virtually around the place or watching the place from many different perspectives. Enjoy the views from the top of Empire State in New York, the last floor of Eiffel Tower or the sights from the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, just by opening the "look around" link under those photos.

look around of St Peter Square in Rome

I just made a small walk in St Peter square in Rome and watched the panoramic views of Alhambra from AlbaicĂ­n. Did you ever watch the faces of the US presidents in Mount Rushmore so close?. There is a never ending list of places to explore: the roofs of Lisbon from Santa Justa, Chicago from Hancock's tower by night, the sights of Stockholm from Katarinahissen, the Red Square of Moscow, Brandenburg gate in Berlin, the white marbles of Taj Mahal or the Sydney Opera House, just to mention a few examples. Take care, I am already addicted.

You will find the link "look around" only for photos in areas with high density of images. The most interesting places to "look around" are squares, towers or any location where people took photo in many different directions. Having many overlapped photos means that you can move very far away from the starting point, almost like a real walk.

If you want to get a "look around" link under your photos or you would like to have this experience in your favorite place, that's easy. Just go to that place and start shooting photos in every direction. Photos should overlap so the matching system can work and using a tripod should help to get matches. If you prefer to move while taking photos, later it would be possible to follow your path. Photos of details get embedded inside wide perspectives and allow a nice zoom-in effect. Depends very much on the place, but around 10-20 photos should be enough to get the "look around". The link will not appear immediately, the system will be initially refreshed every two weeks, but it will get faster after some time.