Sonntag, 28. September 2014

VR Hardenburg - Treppenturm mit Lilienportal

How to embedd a Photo Sphere

Embedding is straight forward, provided your blog provider does allow embedding of HTML into your posts.

Open the photo sphere you like to embed and click on the share icon.

Open the post where you want to add the photo sphere, switch to html view and paste the html code with the iframe tag anywhere.

The result:

How to upload a Photosphere to Google Map View

Since Google is retiring the panoramio service, is worth to look at the new platform Google Maps View. Of course you are required to create a Google account but that is fairly simple process. I did not manage to upload a photo sphere successfully straight away so I summarize the steps here.

It is not enough to create a equirectangular image and upload as photo under the +.
A panoramic image has to deliver specific Photo Sphere XMP Metadata in order to be recognized by Google as a Photo Sphere. You can either do it manually by tinkering the Exif info of the file with a tool like ExifTool or use the easier way by using this Google App. This is a detour which is not straight forward (unlike other Google tools), I guess they will migrate this feature into the upload process sooner or later.

After this step your photo sphere has not yet been put up for Google Maps. The app only adds the basic meta data to your image. Click on the download to get back the image file. You have to download this image and add the image. Now it will be recognized as photo sphere and properly rendered. Note, it takes a while before it actually pops up on Google Maps (not only in your profile). 

Samstag, 27. September 2014

Panoramio shutting down

The image platform showing about 60+ million of images (and spheres), collected since 2005 by thousands of photographers and acquired by Google in 2007 is going to be closed down. 

As reason Google gave is to merge with the View platform, they announced the geo-relevant content would be migrated.

I never uploaded any image to the platform but it was always present in Google Maps, often interesting for places without Street View Coverage. But I have to say the panoramas, they call it spheres, are often of low quality, badly stitched or exposed.
There is a petition going (initiated by the original founders of panoramio), though I doubt Google will listen to it, is a corporate decision, it does not make sense to have competing platforms under the same roof.
This should be a learning lesson about relying on services provided for free, you simply can't assume your work won't be lost or the service available for ever.
In this case Google will certainly try to migrate all content, so you did upload images for many ears in vain.
But there are other cases where services are ceased because they company goes down or the service as such was not successful or profitable enough. Google Orkut is also shutting down. (Discontinued Google Services at Wikipedia)

Wikipedia about panoramio.

Samstag, 20. September 2014

Panoramic Bookshelf: How-to and History Books

This type of books either gives an overview of panoramic photography or guides you through the process of picking up panorama photography.

Here a few books, some of them I own:

Stretch: The Art of Panoramic Photography
by Nick Meers
(2003, english)

One of the first panoramic books I ever bought. A very nice collection of panoramic images of different times and an overview of available technologies (at the time of 2003). The book shows pictures of various photographers.

Panoramic Photography
by Lee Frost (2005, english)
A comprehensive walk-through panoramic imaging with mostly film based technology. Here the author solely uses own images.

Assembling Panoramic Photos: A Designer's Notebook
by William Rodarmor (2005, english)

A typical how-to book for digitial panoramas solely. Given current tools, already outdated, though the basci concepts still apply.

A few more titles with similar background:

Freitag, 19. September 2014

Panoramic Bookshelf

Selection of panoramic Books
I love panorama photography, though it became much more popular and mainstream the last few years because of easy access to the masses. While last time only special cameras could do panoramic shots, today any mobile phone can do it, most of the times with questionable quality but sometimes with decent results.
The greatest achievement for a panoramic image is to be presented as print at the wall, either framed or mounted as dibond print. Another fantastic representation is in book form, usually as coffee-table style books. Over the years I collected some 30 or more panoramic books, and recently I started hunting for panoramic books on the various used-books portals where you can get books at a few Euros which originally cost 10 times more when purchased new. Not quite easy task, as sometime the word panorama as keyword alone does not result in books with panoramic images, but without further hints on sometimes years old books it is a bit like lucky draw.
I will discuss the book categories and the individual titles in upcoming blogs. So stay tuned.