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Essential resources for panoramic photography

You’ve seen panoramas used to illustrate the wondrous beauty of the world such as the interactive landscapes of Australia available at Panedia, the beautiful 360º images at Virtual Africa and the hundreds of images available at 360Cities.net (including this stunning image of London on New Year’s night).

In fact, panoramic technology has grown so rapidly that many long-existing tools for creating virtual images have grown in popularity even in the last few months since this last post on panoramas. Here are some of the useful tools and resources for those interested in visualizing their own interactive corner of the world:

Software

Image editors can take their pick from any of the available panorama programs including WPanorama, hugin and Microsoft Image Composite Editor. These tools offer a dizzying number of features and can be used to create anything from basic image stitching to, in some cases, 360º imaging and perspective correction.

Photoshop CS users needn’t download any new software — the program comes equipped with Photomerge, a useful tool for creating panoramas.

iPhone

Can your phone do this?




Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles; Mouse over to pan

Creating panoramas doesn’t necessarily mean expensive equipment or cameras. The above panoramic image was created with the $3 iPhone app Pano, color corrected in Photoshop and uploaded into Flash (download the .FLA here). Pano makes stitching easy by showing an overlay of the edge of the last photograph, enabling seamless transitions.

Other iPhone applications include PanoLab (free) and Panorama ($9.99). If you’d rather view panoramic images instead of creating them, there’s also the free application Pangea VR.

Social networking

In today’s web 2.0 world, it’s not enough to simply create and post panoramas on your site or blog, you must also share them with other panoramists. GigaPan provides such a space for users to view and share brilliant panoramas from all over the world. Read more about the technology behind GigaPan at contentious.com.

Photosynth offers a similar experience for those with Windows Live accounts. Users can download the available editing software and allow others to view the results.

Blogs

For constantly updated information on the application of panoramas to news photography, check out The Panoramist, an essential blog for fans of the medium. Blogger Gary O’Brien shares fascinating tidbits about panoramic photography as well as panoramas created by news organizations. Panoramic technologist may also be interested in panospace, which touches on useful equipment, among other things.

Have you created an amazing panorama or spotted one on the web? Share it with us in the comments!

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