Archive for April, 2010

Now you can view all images hosted on 360cities.net on iPhone. No download is necessary, just load any image page in your iPhone Safari browser to see it. The best way to start it is to load the recent activity page (360cities.net/recent-activity) or the search page (360cities.net/search) in your iPhone and click on any image there.

Features of iPhone BETA:
- No download necessary, works directly in your Safari browser
- View any panorama by simply going to it’s image page
- Use the “Next” button to skip to a new panorama (randomly selected)

Recommended use cases include showing your panoramas to your friends during a lunch together or presenting your portfolio to a client when you don’t have a computer handy. Now you can take 360Cities with you anywhere you go :)

Quelmer Cimetière de Bateaux

Moines

Moines

National Theatre - box of honour

360 Cities founder and CEO Jeffrey Martin gave a talk at the Tucson 2010 Panoramic Photography Conference on April 15th and unveiled our new and improved offer to the professional panoramic photographer community: 360 Cities PRO accounts.

We will still have free accounts and we’ll keep the ability to publish an unlimited number of panoramas on 360cities.net and on our Google Earth layer (if approved). 360 Cities PRO accounts will be a new addition. PRO accounts are designed for panorama photographers who not only want to publish their general panos, but also want to use 360 Cities as part of their paid work for customers.

The launch date will be announced in the near future. When we launch it we’ll have two kinds of accounts:

  • Free accounts for sharing panoramas with the world, putting them on the 360 Cities map and (if approved) also on Google Earth. Free accounts let you publish any general pano that’s cool or interesting or simply important to you or your friends.
  • PRO accounts have all the functionality of free accounts with the added ability to publish commercial / business panoramas i.e., of hotels, shops, restaurants, etc.

To sign up for a free 360cities.net account, go to the 360 Cities homepage and click Sign Up or Join.

PRO Accounts: Publish All Your “Business” Panoramas

360 Cities PRO accounts give you the right to publish an unlimited number of “business” panoramas on 360cities.net. What is a business panorama? It’s an image of, for example, a restaurant, hotel room, shop, museum, club, bar, etc., that clearly promotes the business it shows. (But a pano of you and your friends having a party in a bar or restaurant probably wouldn’t be considered a business pano.) We will publish a more detailed definition soon. If you’re a free account holder and you upload a business pano, it will remain in your unpublished queue. If you decide to purchase a PRO Account later, your unpublished business panos can then be published.  IMPORTANT: The new definition applies only for panos published after we launch the PRO accounts product — commercial / business panos that have been published before now will remain free.

EXAMPLE BUSINESS PANO: Spa – Hacienda El Carmen in Mexico

 

As a PRO account member, you’ll be able to embed your business panos  into your clients’ websites for a small fee for each embed (prices coming soon). The embedding price will cover one year instead of three years and will be lower than our current price. It will still be possible to embed non-business 360 Cities panoramas in non-commercial websites for free.

 

Is my panorama a business panorama?

If the main or obvious purpose of the pano is to promote a business, yes. We’ll provide a more detailed definition with examples soon.

 

When are you going to launch PRO Accounts?

In June 2010 (stay tuned for updates).

 

I’m currently using 360 Cities to show my portfolio. Do I need to purchase a PRO account?

No. You only need to go PRO when you want to publish “business” panoramas.

 

What’s the price of a PRO Account?

We’ll reveal the pricing soon, but the cost of a PRO account plus the cost of embedding in a website will be lower than we currently charge for embedding (in some cases much lower). In fact, we think you’ll like the change a lot. If you are really interested in getting started with a PRO account even before we officially launch, contact us to find out more.

 

Some other Questions?

Ask them below this blog post, we’ll answer them either immediately or in our next blog post about the new PRO accounts.

Update April 29th: Discuss PRO accounts in the forum

To learn more about 360 Cities PRO accounts, keep reading this blog.

We’re pleased to officially announce an exciting partnership with WHL Consulting. Project:Exposure serves to promote local businesses and hence support sustainable tourism, which is something that we take quite seriously at 360 Cities. The details of Project:Exposure are explained in the press releases below – please note that this press release is not boring (I’m reacting to a comment I’ve heard a couple of times recently that press releases are boring and nobody reads them).  We’re honored and excited to be cooperating with WHL Consulting and to be a part of Project:Exposure…and we’re proud of the press release!

April 14, 2010 – WHL Consulting and 360 Cities have formally agreed to collaborate as strategic implementation partners of Project:Exposure, a groundbreaking small-business development program. Both companies, innovators in their fields, see cooperation on Project:Exposure as an opportunity to advance a shared commitment to empowering local small and medium enterprises around the world.

Initially created and launched by WHL Consulting, Project:Exposure provides targeted assistance to locally owned and operated hotels and tour operators. Project:Exposure helps them acquire the tools and knowledge for successful online marketing through established far-reaching distribution partners.

360 Cities Founder and Photographer, Jeff Martin taking a panoramic image of writer Michelle Rodrigues participating in an ancient ceremony at Guachimontones ruins

In practical terms, the Project:Exposure program completes an audit of existing tourism products in a specific destination and then drives the development of high-quality photographs, professionally written content and authoritative marketing material essential when selling travel product in any medium. Program participants are also given the opportunity to examine firsthand the benefits and effects of Project:Exposure through WHL Consulting Market Access Training seminars on the dynamics and significance of the Internet and e-commerce in tourism.

WHL Consulting’s partnership with 360 Cities now adds the guarantee of striking cutting-edge visuals to the suite of products and services on offer to program participants and clients.

2nd floor at sunrise – Hacienda El Carmen 4 in Mexico

“360 Cities’ position as the leading site for immersive panoramic photography, as well as its extensive network of immersive photography, experts makes them an ideal partner for Project:Exposure,” said Zachary Rozga, CEO of WHL Consulting. “Every single property that participates in Project:Exposure will now receive a fully-spherical panoramic image distributed through the 360 Cities platform of over 3 million visitors per month.”

The partnership also aligns the two organizations’ dedication to enabling local participation. Both companies have built their businesses on platforms that allow for local partners to upload and manage content through centralized processes. The coming together of WHL Consulting and 360 Cities means that the 360 Cities photographer members – the world’s best panoramic photographers – have a new and promising paid outlet through which to apply their skills in the service of local entrepreneurs who otherwise could not afford them.

Jeffrey S. Martin, founder and CEO of 360Cities.net, expressed optimism that “both local tourism destinations and 360 Cities’ local photographers will benefit from the cooperation on Project:Exposure.”

WHL Consulting
WHL Consulting is a professional services company with a singular focus on providing innovative, high-tech solutions to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism industry. WHL Consulting aims to improve the competitiveness and long-term sustainability of MSMEs by leveraging technology and business processes to connect them to global markets through established distribution partners, like whl.travel, and then using the pull of the market to guide capacity building. WHL Consulting is a WHL Group company.

360 Cities
360 Cities is the Web’s largest and most breathtaking virtual tour, showcasing tens of thousands of fully spherical, high-resolution panoramas made by hundreds of photographers all over the world. “360 Cities’ mission is to bring the world closer through the utility and beauty of 360-degree interactive photography on the Web. 360 Cities is a Premium Content Provider to Google, Inc. The panoramic content is included for all 400+ million users of Google Earth.”

Contact:

Zachary Rozga
zachary@whlconsulting.com

Jeffrey Martin
jeff@360cities.net