We recently announced our new Distribution Partnership with Getty Images and today we’re pleased to announce the launch of the first set of panoramas from 360Cities contributors on Getty Images. In order to see these images, just enter “360cities.net” in the search box on gettyimages.com when the box is set to either “All images” or “Editorial images”.

This is just an initial set of a few hundred images to start. We’re going to be growing the number of images and photographers represented on an ongoing basis so that more participants can benefit from the global reach of Getty Images’ own and third party sales forces, as they begin to promote interactive 360° panoramic imagery as part of their regular offering to thousands of business customers around the world.

Getty Images is the world leader in editorial licensing, with a large sales staff and a customer list that includes the largest consumers of editorial imagery in the world. The result for participating contributors of 360Cities is that many more images will be licensed by editorial users via the Getty channel, and thus more of our contributors have a chance to earn royalties from their panoramas.

See our Help Guide for more information on how you can participate and benefit from our exciting new Distribution Partnership with Getty Images.

As always, thanks to all our members for your great work and for contributing to 360Cities.

The 360Cities Team

Our weekly round-up of the coolest panoramic pictures will be a slightly shorter than usual this time, as only two panos made the list. But as you can see, it’s well deserved.


Karang Bolong Beach by Dominic Julian (click the picture to open the pano)

This week we start in Indonesia, where Dominic Julian took this picture at the Karand Bolong beach. As he points out in the description, you don’t want to miss the hole in the rock, which actually gave the beach its name. But still – it’s a beach and we would certainly understand if you looked the other way, to the sea.


Venice rooftops by Steffen Faradi (click the picture to open the pano)

Moving from Indonesia to Europe, we now stand on top of one of Venice’s roofs, enjoying a wonderful view over the city. Streffen Faradi also notes that taking panoramic pictures requires you to discover an adventurer in you – he had to wake up early and climb up the roof to make a pano like this. Great job!

See you next week!



Harry Peter

2 hrs · Aachen, Germany

As being an amateur I could really need some experts advice on buying a portable “light/flash” for use with the new Theta model S:

Imagine you want to place a Theta on a standard tripod inside a room/cave with very bad lighting and no electrical power supply, but it is essential to see details on the walls around you. Thus you’d need some kind of central light/flash that’s beaming in all directions, right?

What kind of light/flash could you use to enlighten the entire room, q…

See More

Zeljko Soletic and Sravani Saha like this.


Allen Clark

Allen Clark You could probably make something suitable out of a battery-powered fluorescent light stick (see pictured example). You’d have to build a transparent tube to place it in, with a tripod screwhole plate at the base and plate with tripod screw at the top…See More

Allen Clark's photo.

1 · 1 hr

Harry Peter

Harry Peter This suggestion is nice, thanks! If nothing else appears I think I will try to build this do-it-yourself-solution smile emoticon

54 mins

Sravani Saha

Sravani Saha Can you post the link to this example?

1 hr

Allen Clark

Allen Clark It’s a pretty common product, a shop light that happens to be a battery-powered fluorescent. Google any of those terms and you’ll come up with other manufacturers’ products. http://www.kmart.com/makita-18-volt…/p-03415433000P…

1 · 1 hr

Jeffrey Martin

Jerome Boccon-Gibod

November 6 at 11:54pm

Linear panorama with some parallax effects (krpano)

Over The Wall – Nantes

Dans le cadre et en étroite collaboration avec Le Voyage à Nantes 2012, “Pick Up production” et “Plus de Couleurs” on réalisé un projet d’envergure à la hauteur de l’événement : un parcours graffiti qui s’étend de manière discontinue tout au …


Jim Watters, Arthur van den Enk, Thomas Sharpless and 17 others like this.


View 4 more comments

Christoph Simon

Christoph Simon very cool!

1 · November 7 at 1:52pm

Thomas Sharpless

Thomas Sharpless Great work! Could add vertical parallax shifts?

November 7 at 3:16pm

Jerome Boccon-Gibod

Jerome Boccon-Gibod Yes, updated version with vertical parallax shift online wink emoticon

2 · November 7 at 6:05pm


Jeffrey Martin

Jeffrey Martin unless you stop the auto-play audio, next time i see you, i’m going to come up from behind you and start shouting in your ear without warning, in a foreign language. ok! smile emoticon

2 hrs

Jerome Boccon-Gibod

Jerome Boccon-Gibod Music soothes the savage breast Jeffrey, or you can use the mute button…

1 hr

Jeffrey Martin

Write a reply…

Jeffrey Martin

Robert Miller

November 8 at 10:40am

So here is an interesting thought… I have used a wide variety of panoramic heads, including robotic heads. The robotic heads all have their quirks but the biggest issue is a lack of communication between the head and camera. Given the fact that cameras have usb ports, they could infact connect to and control the head. This would allow for auto levelling by compensating when moving, acurate triggering and optimal stepping and most importantly a way of altering exposure during the panorama.

I designed a system and tried Nikon but of course and not surprisingly, zero interest in doing anything creative. Anyone have contacts at a camera manufacturer that may be interest?

Zeljko Soletic, VR Emaad and Juan Felipe Mindernickel like this.


View 19 more comments

Jeffrey Martin

Jeffrey Martin unless you are well funded with a very clear proof that you will be selling this on a global and retail scale, you can’t really expect ANY camera company to be interested in this.

2 hrs

Jeffrey Martin

Jeffrey Martin you might try that micro four thirds camera that was on KS. He might be interested. that would get your foot in the door and help you get to working prototype stage

1 · 2 hrs

Matthew Rogers

Matthew Rogers You can already buy all the hardware and controllers you need from just two companies. Just do some research smile emoticon

2 hrs

Jeffrey Martin

Herwig Niggemann

November 7 at 12:15pm

Herwig Niggemann's photo.

Gerald Blondy and Johan Offermans like this.

Continue reading ‘This week in VR Photography: October 30 – November 9, 2015’ »

Hi there! We’re back with your favorite summary of the coolest panoramas uploaded to 360Cities last week. Let’s have look!


Balmy Streetart by Udo Lenkewicz.

This time we are going to take a short trip across the US – we start in San Francisco, in the Balmy Alley full of graffiti and street art. Wide range of colors, styles and also placements – both on walls and the pavement as well. Great idea for a pano!


Inside Double Arch at Night by Vincent Brady.

Time to move from California to Utah. Vincent Brady did a tremendous job here – have a look at this magnificent combination of the starry sky and the Double Arch in the Arches National Park. The arches are wonderfully lit, but the stars stand out anyway. Love it!


Stonehenge distant, Maryhill, Washington, USA by Peter Patricelli MD.

Peter Patricelli visited the Maryhill Stonehenge in Wanshington, which is a replica of the famous original Stonegenge in Wiltshire, England. It was finished in 1929 and it is a memorial to those who had died in World War I.


Szolnok in autumn – Foggy View by Kotta.

This one is really special. Szolnok, a city in Hungary, looks absolutely fantastic – in fog, especially when looking from high above the city. The fog, combined with white light, makes the city look so unnatural – this pano is a must see.


Aerial view Štrbské Pleso with the Hotel Kempinski by Fabian.

Last pano featured in our summary was made by Fabian Truttmann in Slovakia. The Štrbské Pleso lake looks so nice during blue hour and Fabian’s aerial shot gives you an image of how beautiful the whole area really is.


Want more?

Munich, Neues Rathaus by Erwin LEIMLEHNER.

tikal maya ruins. grand piramid place by luis davilla.

Forum Romanum from Palatine by Uwe Buecher.

Tempio dei Dioscuri by Uwe Buecher.

Petra Treasury – front mountain view by Mohamed Attef.

View Waterfall Pavilion by Dxinwei.

Grand Trianon by SEIMA.


See you next week!


We’re pleased to announce an exciting new Distribution Partnership between Getty Images and 360Cities. Participating 360Cities’ photographers will benefit from the global reach of Getty Images’ own and third party sales forces who will promote interactive 360° panoramic imagery from 360Cities as part of their regular offering to thousands of business customers around the world.

According to Hugh Pinney, Getty Images’ Vice-President of Editorial Content, “We see a significant opportunity to make the experience of 360° interactivity a natural part of engaging with online content in both the editorial and commercial markets. We want to enable media clients and their consumers to experience 360° content on a daily basis and to start to expect interactivity when engaging with current affairs. We see our partnership with 360Cities, the world’s largest collection of high-quality, interactive panoramas from thousands of the finest VR photographers from around the world, as a natural fit in realizing this opportunity.”

Getty Images is the world’s leader in visual communication. With its advanced search and image recognition technology, Getty Images serves business customers in almost 200 countries and is the first place creative and media professionals turn to discover, purchase and manage images and other digital content. Its award-winning photographers and content creators help customers produce inspiring work which appears every day in the world’s most influential newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, films, television programs, books and online media.

See our Help Guide for more information on how you can participate and benefit from our exciting new Distribution Partnership with Getty Images.

The 360Cities Team

Hello! We’re back with our summary with the most wonderful panoramic photos uploaded to 360Cities last week! This time we selected three lovely autumn panos that really deserve your attention. Check them out!


Sils Maria by Fritz Hanke (click the picture to open the pano)

This week we start with Fritz Hanke’s lovely picture from Lake Sils in Switzerland. It is the largest natural lake in the Alps and it seems like an ideal place for taking a pano – especially on a beautiful autumn day like this one.


Bremen Holler See – Dorint Hotel – Park Hotel by Willy Kaemena (click the picture to open the pano)

Willy Kaemena took this pano at the Dorint hotel in Bremen, Germany. Another lovely autumn day, another good opportunity for taking a panoramic photo. Who’s up for a quick stroll in the park?


Hellingst Ecke Kuhstedter Strasse-Dorfstrasse by Willy Kaemena (click the picture to open the pano)

Here’s another pano by Willy and the autumn atmosphere got our attention again. Just follow the road to the right, where the sun sets. Absolutely wonderful.

See you next week!

Tom Sharpless is one of the true pioneers of panoramic and VR photography, with a background of decades in computer programming. He has contributed a number of interesting thoughts, techniques, and ideas to the panoramic photography community, most notably the “Panini” projection which is perhaps the most natural-looking way to display extremely wide angle (120-170 degrees) scenes.

At home with Tom Sharpless

A photo posted by jeffrey martin (@gigajeff) on

What is your background?
Medical imaging software engineer. In the last decade, I was a large scale integrated circuit design software engineer. I was supporting people designing chips. it’s a bit like making a movie. In the core team working on a big chip there’s probably about 600-800 engineers, divided into numerous specialist groups and they’re supported by tens of thousands of engineering workstation computers put into big farms to simulate elements of the design process. the chip has to be simulated exhaustively in 3 or 4 different levels of details before anyone will consider making a test chip because that costs a few million dollars to run. There are logic designers working in languages similar to cobol and c++ and they are good at modeling abstract logical elements. They put together little bits of logic verify that they are correct by running simulations.

I was largely supporting that level of design. The company I was working for, their speciality was one of the black arts. In the transition from pure logic to building a physical chip, the biggest problem there is getting all those idealized clocks to actually happen in a synchronized fashion because there are time delays and bugs and so on. ‘Clock Tree Insertion’ is one of the more mysterious elements of chip design. I didn’t do any of that but I did support logic designers in writing test beds for simulation at the logic level. The special expertise is how to insert instrumentation so you can diagnose what actually went wrong. There is a bit of my logic in one ATI graphics chip actually.

What was it like working with so many smart people?
it was fun, you don’t get asked stupid questions, you get asked things that make you think!

When did you start doing photography?
I never did any photography until I started doing panoramas in 2004. And then I was doing slit scan photography with a modified flatbed document scanner. I thought it would be an interesting hack. I wasn’t the first or last but I did figure it out all by myself. I hacked together a working slit camera out of a scanner and stuck a little TV lens in front of it, and it made unbelievable pictures! So I built a better one using a real 35mm camera lens, and I got the white balance calibration software working better and it made absolutely stunning pictures! you’ve seen panoscan for example, it’s the same idea. the pictures were super resolution, I was getting 30 or 50 megapixel cylindrical panoramas out of it in 2004.

My prettiest one, (pictured) was from an HP sensor but it has a bit of a crappy sensor so this one does not make as good pictures as this one:

this is made from a umax scanner, the kind that costs $49. the only modI faction was soldering ga couple wires that needed connectors. the two main functions I had to add to make it into a camera were putting an infrared blocker in front of the sensor, and a shutter so that I could get quality. the quality of flatbed sensors depends on them calibrating themselves before every scan by looking at a dark strip and white strip. the dark strip measures the noise and the white strip measures the sensitivity. the chip in the sensor as, in it, a realtime corrector to subtract the dark and white image from each pixel, and that gives them a remarkably clean response, better than any digital camera i’ve used in terms of photometric flatness. they’re noisier than slurs but the flatness of field is spectacular.

would you have put this on KS?
maybe but by the time I build the second one in 2008 I knew the rotating slit camera business was heading for oblivion. spheron had made their last new design two years before, panoscan was only making small improvements. I believe you can still buy a panoscan but i’m not sure about it. spheron hasn’t sold a slit camera in a long time.

these cameras have serious limitations. national semI made a scanner chip with wide range of adjustments between the motor stepping speed and video speed, they built the chip ike that because they were building it for so many scanner manufacturers. the customized chips that came later are useless because they’re slaves to the exact requirements of a particular scanner. also in no cases is the low level apI of the chip public! that’s why I could do it in the first place. some people have built cameras out of scanners without an apI but they’re missing a number of things. on my camera I can close the scanner and do a dark field image in order to subtract the noise. I have a white field calibration device that I use once per session which sets the brightness response correction and the white balance.

getting the black and white calibration was the hardest part and that’s what other people have had problems with. they’re not the best slit cameras that have ever been made out there, but I think they rank pretty high.


the biggest limit for me are 1. it’s very slow – each slit of pixels is a separate exposure! you have to do 10,000 exposures. so it takes minutes to scan an image. the longest scan i’ve made is 45 minutes. barely usable but is’a popular picture of mine.

The other limitation is that there is no anti-blooming circuitry in these cheap sensors. the chip in a good camera, I believe has about 60% of its circuitry is devoted to anti-blooming. Blooming is when the light hitting one pixel, leaks to neighboring pixels. CMOS is much less prone to blooming. on a CCD you see a big line when the sun hits it.

So, most of my outdoor pictures have vertical streaks in them because of blooming. you can’t take pictures of stuff with lots of specular reflections in it.

And the whole thing including the laptop hi-cad batteries ended up weighing around 35lbs, so I just sort of gave up. I started being much more interested in the pictures than the gear….. I was beginning to lose interestI in the hardware and I wanted to make panoramic pictures with people in them, and so…. I got an SLR and downloaded panotools, and being a soft are engineer, looked into panotools and was very impressed with it, and soon became aware that there was a major open source project based on panotools called Hugin that was pushing the state of the art. I signed up to be a hugin developer and learn d a great deal from that experience.

Are you still contributing to hugin?
not much anymore, i’m still on the list but not much. the last contribution I made was 4 years ago, putting in the gneral paninI projection. I use it all the time to reproject equirectangualr panos for printing. I made two of my own programs for that called PaninI and PaninI pro. But they aren’t as easy to make a nice paninI perspective view with those as it is with Hugin.

For those of you who haven’t heard it before, it’s not a sandwich and it’s not a sports car. it’s a method fro constructing an alternative projection that was developed in holland in thee 1600 and perfected in italy in the 1700’s. bruno postle and I called it paninI because we figured it out by looking at paints by Panini. 18th century italian painter and professor of perspective at the dutch academy in rome, and taught it to many great painters of the late 18th and early 19th century, paining mostly ruins in huge wide perspectives that you could tell were not real. they rearranged their ruins a lot and painted ruins that never were.

Can you explain how the PaninI projection compares visually to rectilinear or fisheye projection?

If you have seen the work of Piranesi, you’ll see what I mean. Hypothetical or made-up painting of ruins that are unbelievably spectacular, all in black and white. He made his living selling portfolios of 30-50 black and white lithographs of roman ruins or hypothetical buildings he made up himself or combinations thereof. They’re still selling well. a full set of piranesI lithographs will set you back 35 grand. The buildings he drew were so convincing that lots of archaeologists came to believe that it was how roman buildings were actually built and that was what they were going to find when they dug them up!

There is something about his perspective that is terrifically convincing. he really wanted it to look like that. things look taller than they really are.

I spent a lot of time allaying these paintings comparing angles measured in the paintings and angles in the actual buildings such as a church, and with the exception of one of the most interesting paintings, all the paintings I analyzed followed these mathematical rules very accurately.

The primary effect of the paninI projection is to compress the horizontal scale to something much smaller. so you can have a view that is nearly 180 degrees that doesn’t seem distorted. paninI projection solves the problem of showing extremely wide angles, and since most pictures are wider than they are high, this gives you a lot of freedom. and for architecture photography you need vertical lines to stay vertical, and paninI preserves vertical lines.

When I want to make the most convincing looking picture of an interior that is 170 degrees wide in reality, a 100% paninI projection is a bit too much but something like 70% works quite well for me.

The reason I like the paninI projection in hugin is that it vertically squeezes the top and bottom and for the purpose of eliminating the worst part of the paninI projection which is that horizontal lines above and below the equator are bulging a lot. in architecture that’s disturbing. in paintings they simply drew those lines straight. in a photo you can’t do that. the general paninI projection is nowhere near what a painter could do, but the squeezes at the top and bottom are nice adjustment so that horizontal lines are straighter.

Despite being 75 years old, the future is interesting and I’m involved in it. the next big tech development is 2.5d / 3d stitching – make the first spherical 3d panoramic content reliably. you can’t do it now. the big problem with spherical 3d, unless you do it with a single camera, only for stills of course, the stitcher is going to modify each spherical image according to what control points it finds and it beds them out of shape a bit. so not only you get the left-right disparity but you get a lot of other disparities due to the fact that the images are aligned differently, and that interferes with stereo viewing. so you need real 3d stitching which means the stitcher isn’t allowed to warp the control points until it knows the depths of the control points. so finding a good way to assign depths to control points is the first step. that will solve a lot of registration problems. it requires getting depth maps out of pictures before you’ve lined them up. it’s something that hasn’t been solved yet. when it is solved, it will be possible to churn out still and video 3d panos very reliably. as long as oculus keeps growing there can be a big market for that.

The next step after that is real 3d – true virtual reality with views that are not at the center of the camera array. that’s already being done in hollywood so it’s a matter of time before everyone else is doing that too. I’ve thought of a couple applications – one is taking picture of buildings where you can’t get far enough away to get the right perspective. or the building you’re interested in when you see it has telephone poles and wires in between. Some of those defects could be solved by 3d stitching, taking a bunch of images taken from different points, combining different pints of view, and you could see past wires and poles, or synthesize a new view as if you were standing much further away.


Matthias Phuong shared Matthias Phuong Fotografie‘s photo.

9 mins

Matthias Phuong Fotografie's photo.

Continue reading ‘This week in VR Photography and Video: 15-29 October 2015’ »

Hi guys! To make you Monday better, we’re back with a summary of the most wonderful panoramic photos the 360Cities photographers uploaded last week. And get ready, it’s special today!


Foggy morning in Bavaria by Jürgen Schrader (click on the picture to open the pano)

This week we start in Bavaria and this absolutely amazing aerial shot by Jürgen Schrader. The fog all around makes this pano special and the rising sun certainly adds more beauty here. This is a brilliant work you don’t get to see every day.


Cape Koganezaki by kiyoharu takamura (click on the picture to open the pano)

This time the sun goes down – at least on this pano by Kiyoharu Takamura. The scenery and the view at Cape Koganezaki the pano really deserves your attention. Great job, Kiyoharu!


Landscape Arch & Milky Way by Vincent Brady (click on the picture to open the pano)

Now, this is something extraordinary. Sure, Milky way panos are cool, but this one by Vincent Brady – especially with the Landscape Arch in Utah – is absolutely beautiful. And look at the stars? Go ahead, count them!


Autumn on Bald Peak by Vincent Lawrence (click on the picture to open the pano)

One more panoramic picture from the US. Autumn is apparently beautiful in Maine, right? Just look at all the colourful leaves! The view from the Bald Peak is also amazing. Nice job, Vincent!


Cathedral & Duomo di Milano. On the roof by Евгений Орлов (click on the picture to open the pano)

If you had no trouble with counting the stars on Vincent Brady’s pano, here’s one more task for you – count all the little towers on top of Duomo di Milano’s roof. Hope you can make it until we’re back with another summary next week!


If this was not enough for you, there’s more!


The Belvedere on the Pfingstberg – Pegasus by Ludwig (click on the picture to open the pano)

Bell turret in Rostov Veliky by Ivan Savin (click on the picture to open the pano)


See you next week!


We’re back with the most wonderful gems our community photographers uploaded last week. Check out our Editors‘ picks of the week!


The stone steps along the cliff by Dxinwei (click on the picture to open the pano)

This week we start in the Hubei Province in China on these crazy steps. This is definitely not a place for someone who’s afraid of heights – and you certainly don’t want to be there when it’s windy!


Bruce Bay Milky Way by Mike Mackinven (click on the picture to open the pano)

This was probably our number one last week – a stunning pano by Mike Mackiven from the Bruce Bay in New Zealand has it all – beach fire, waves and the Milky way above. Simply brilliant.


The Harbour City, A quiet little corner by Gil Abadines (click on the picture to open the pano)

We’re not going to move very far right now, as we’re going to have a look at the most popular places of Sydney, Australia. However, this time without tourists, Gil Abadines managed to found a quiet place on the other side of the bay. Have a look yourself!


Roman theatre4. cartagena. spain by luis davilla (click on the picture to open the pano)

Luis Davilla is one of our top community photographers and he proved it again this time with his lovely pano of the Roman theatre in Cartagena, Spain. If you want to see more, check out another Luis‘ pano from below – click here.


Eldorado Glacier by pix (click on the picture to open the pano)

Last featured Editors‘ pick was taken in Washington, US. Check out how cool the Eldorado Glacier is, but make sure you don’t miss the wonderful view from there – just turn around and have a look!


Want more? Then have a look at a couple of other panos that got our attention last week:

Laleli Mosque-(Laleli Camii) by ErcanKapkac (click on the picture to open the pano)

Park Dubki. Storm by Alex Panfiloff (click on the picture to open the pano)

Hall of Seven Hundred by Marcio Cabral (click on the picture to open the pano)

Вид с башни by Anton Fadeev (click on the picture to open the pano)


See you next week!