Archive for April, 2011

If you missed the editor’s picks part 1 for April, make sure you check it out. Click on images to open interactive versions.

360° photos by Mark Weber – Jeffrey Fillmore – Fernando da Rosa Morena – Franck Masschelein – Evgeniy Veldyaev – Juan Vera – Roland Lahner – Giuliano Bernardi – Alexey Ermakov. Stay tuned for part 3!

360° panorama by René van Gageldonk.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

from the series "on the edge, dunes and dykes": Zeelands highest dunes. For this project I takes VR panorama's all through Zeeland, The Netherlands, and some important related pano's.

April has been a great month at 360 Cities. This is part one of editor’s picks for April 2011. Stay tuned for part 2 later this week!

Photo credits: josu barandiaran – Malinnikov Ruslan – Christophe Bouthe – Ozerov Andrey – Masao Nagata – Dennis Angelica – Marcio Cabral – Willy Kaemena.

Panoramic photo by Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

جبل ياطب: وهو من الجبال التي حول حائل و تحمل نقوشاً ورسوما ثمودية يرجح أن تاريخها يعود الى القرن الثالث او الرابع قبل الميلاد Yatib Mountain: It is around Hail and has petroglyphs and also contain hundreds of Thamudic inscriptions attributed to third and fourth century BC.

These great 360º photos look like steampunk movie sets, don’t you think?

Valentin Arfire: ever since was placed there I was anxious to see its interior, the magic of its mechanisms… So one day I forgot all the advice my dear friend Ciprian told me on never get to someone elses private property and if you get there 🙂 don’t take pictures, and I got in it. Unfortunately the results of my first exposure being handheld and far from satisfactory, I got there for a second time with the tripod and panoramic head and 🙂 voila … It seems it was the shelter of a homeless person over the summer – I hope he doesn’t mind.

The Sulzer steam engine shown here belonged to the spinnery Blumer & Söhne which was shutdown in 1982. Today the building is part of the industrial ruin Jakobstal. A german abstract about the history and current development (or stagnation) of the ruin can be read here:

This is the famous Bavarian steam engine S36 watched from beneath during a maintenance.

This is a unique view beneath the main wheels of an ancient German steam engine the famous Bavarian S36 during maintenance. The engine is located in the traffic department of the Deutsches Museum which has it’s own buildings on the former Munich fairgrounds right above the grounds where the Oktoberfest takes place.

Full Power! 3 Diesel Piston Engines filled this room (& the entire sub) with a deafening roar. Examine the connections that propelled this mass of steel – USS Blueback. /to read more, click on the image and scroll down/

SS Rotterdam Engine Room

360º photos by Valentin ArfireBernhard EhrmingerJürgen Schrader www.bavaria360.deThomas Hayden and Henk van den Berg.

Do you know of more panos like these? Let us know in the comments – thank you!

360 Cities’ Jeffrey Martin is today launching at the Where 2.0 2011 conference in California. We’re excited about this opportunity to introduce the Panomonkey concept to such an audience.

From our press release (For Immediate Release): to Launch at O’Reilly Where 2.0 2011 

Prague, Czech Republic, 18 April 2011 – 360 Cities, the largest community of photographers creating 360-degree panoramic photos for the web, has taken another step towards mainstreaming panoramic photography by launching, a fully automated online panoramic photo stitching service. The service will be officially launched at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara on 20 April 2011.

Designed to stitch photos from any camera – from ordinary smart phone to high-end digital SLR with fisheye-lens – Panomonkey receives any number of uploaded source images and automatically stitches, renders, blends and color-corrects them to produce a high-quality finished panorama.

Jeffrey Martin, Founder of, said that Panomonkey, online in beta since late 2010, is the first such service to accommodate uploaded images from such a wide variety and types of cameras and lenses. “We’ve calibrated Panomonkey over months of development and trial and error to be extremely sensitive to lens type and the idiosyncrasies of the wide range of cameras out there today. We believe it is the only such service that can so intelligently detect the details of the hardware and use them to output a high quality panorama requiring no extra work for exposure, color, or error repair. No knowledge of photography, no special camera, and no software is required to create high-quality 360-degree photos.” 

Panomonkey users’ finished panoramas can be distributed via throughout its wider ecosphere. “This means that the capability to create 360- degree geo-referenced imagery and publish it easily to major mapping platforms can now be extended to millions and millions of people,” said Martin. “Vehicle-mounted street view type cameras can only do so much. By enabling anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection to push a finished high-quality 360-degree panorama out to the geosphere, we aim to fill in the huge gaps that street-view type photography on the web inevitably leaves,” he said.

About 360 Cities

360 Cities is dedicated to promoting geo-referenced, high-resolution spherical imagery by providing the best-anywhere platform for publishing panoramic photography on the web. is the largest collection of spherical, map-based panoramas, and is a Premium Content Provider to Google Earth.

Contact: Jeffrey Martin – Founder,, jeff (at)

This article is a guest post by David Mariotti.

About 40 years ago I picked up a copy of a book by the photographer, Andreas Feininger. I don’t remember the title, but somewhere in the book he wrote that pictures must be significant to the photographer–and the issue of significance is much more important than most photographers realize. As I remember the anecdote in the book, Feininger told that he attended an photo exhibition of one of his students who had become a pro. In the gallery, Feininger walked up to the student, pointed at a nearby picture, and asked, “Tell me, why did you take that?” Rather defensively, the student answered with a question, “Why . . . what’s wrong with it?” Feininger went on: “I didn’t say anything was wrong with it. I simply wondered why you took it and chose to display it?” Feininger’s point, which he emphasized in the paragraphs that followed, was that a picture must be significant to you, the photographer, or you shouldn’t take it and certainly shouldn’t display it. It wasn’t enough to take a nice picture that was pleasing to look at. Why should anyone want that on his or her wall if it wasn’t symbolic of something important?

Now, all these years later and as a disclaimer, I may not remember the exact details in the book, or whether I’ve filtered what I believe was Feininger’s point–or whether it’s my own–but the idea that pictures are symbols that stir our memories and bring things to the surface makes those pictures significant.

During the early 1950s, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s home was the Masonic Temple Auditorium, as it was called in those days. Since my father was the principal oboe, we went to many concerts in that hall as kids. Later, as young adults, we heard the orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Berlin, plus the MET Opera on tour. Our preferred seats? Not far from where this picture was taken.

Later, I became a musician, following in my father’s footsteps, I played the oboe. I got a lot of commercial work (free lance) in those days, and one of the jobs I got in 1968 was playing the show, The Land of Smiles, during its mini-tour of Michigan. This was no ordinary pick-up job because, although the company was from Vienna and featured Austrian and German singers, the star was the tenor, Giuseppe di Stefano, one of my favorites. di Stefano’s voice wasn’t durable, so by 1968 his performances–once second to none–were inconsistent and he often sounded hard and forced, especially in the high register. He got booed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, then sang spectacularly the next night in Flint, Michigan. At intermission during the show in Flint, I pressed my way to his dressing room, holding my oboe in hand, hoping the oboe would lessen the chance of getting thrown out. I got to his dressing room and knocked. A guy answered the door and I asked if I could have Mr. di Stefano’s autograph. He smiled, and as he took the program from my hand, I tried Plan B, which was to bluntly ask, “Could I talk to him for a minute?” To my surprise, I was welcomed into di Stefano’s dressing room by his son–and before I knew it, I was shaking hands with the great tenor! We talked for a few minutes about his 1950 recording of La Boheme, then, seeing I had an oboe in my hand, he told a joke about the oboe player and friend of his, Renato Zanfini. He asked, “Have you ever heard of Zanfini?” I said yes (I was also aware that Zanfini was a fine musician). di Stefano went on: “Did you know he’s got a great baritone voice? . . . but he can’t sing the opera. You know why?” I said no. And then, with much enthusiasm, he yelled, “BECAUSE HE CAN’T FOLLOW A CONDUCTOR!” After that, I asked him to sign the program, which he graciously did, and I left to warm up for the second half. (The program still hangs, framed, in our living room.)

Back to the pictures. The night we played at the Masonic Temple was unforgettable and remains one of a handful of awe-inspiring musical experiences I’ve been lucky to have. We had been transposing one of the 1st-act songs down a half step, but not that night: di Stefano was in great shape. We knew something special was happening by the time he got to Yours Is Mine Heart Alone(Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz). After the song, the audience began to applaud and yell. And then came a surprise, even to us musicians in the pit. The lights went down on the stage, the cast froze, di Stefano walked to the front of the stage, the audience quieted down, and he repeated a verse of Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz; but this time he sang pianissisimo (extremely softly) and the only light in that vast theater was a baby spot on di Stefano. This next panorama was taken not far (a little bit to the left) from the exact spot he stood on that most-memorable night.

Go here and listen to the great tenor, Jonas Kaufmann, sing Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz in a TV–concert setting (and notice how beautifully Kaufmann floats into the 2nd verse without a breath, at 2:32):

I also remember a night when I played Sleeping Beauty with the touring Royal Ballet in this hall, back when Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn were the stars. After intermission and before the curtain went up, a man in a tuxedo walked onto the stage, waited for the audience’s attention, and announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen . . . There will be change in the cast for Sleeping Beautytonight. The part of Aurora will be danced by Margot Fonteyn and the role of the Prince . . . ” Anticipating the name, Rudolph Nureyev, the house erupted. After waiting for them to quiet down, John Lanchbery gave a downbeat and we began. And as you might imagine, the energy, both on the stage and in the theater, was incredible.

Fonteyn and Nureyev made their entrances not far from here.

As an adult, I realize that the Masonic Temple is an architectural marvel. The incredibly complicated design of the building includes corridors and tunnels that go here and there, stairwells to get to balconies in many rooms, ramps that lead to the giant wood-floor Drill Hall above the Masonic Temple Theater, a ballroom that is below the great auditorium, and on and on it goes. I recently was given permission by the building’s staff to shoot this panorama project. The spherical-panorama format is perfect for this because it’s the only format that gives the viewer a true impression of a place, plus gives him or her a choice of where he or she wants to look and/or zoom–and in this case, you’re in the great Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Panoramic photo by Simona Bartolomei.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

The Duomo Square in Pietrasanta is characterized by numerous monuments including the Cathedral of San Martino in romanesque-gothic style, the former Church of Sant’Agostino with a wonderful cloister and the civic tower.


The Dinosaur room at Thanksgiving Point, Utah
Panoramic photo by David Burton. Click the image to open the interactive version.

22.5 meters long and 4030 kg heavy Whale skeleton of a huge collection of National Museum in Prague from Norway
Panorama by Tibor Sedin. Click the image to open the interactive version.

The Jurassic Park Discovery Center has many exhibits and a learning center where you can examine dinosaureggs and even watch a baby velociraptor hatching. “Scientists” dressed in white lab coats are doing demonstrations and are working as if this were the real lab from the movie.
Panoramic photo by Larry Beasley. Click the image to open the interactive version.

The new Guangdong Museum located besides the river in Zhujiang New Town.
Panoramic photo by yunzen liu. Click the image to open the interactive version.

Dublin Natural History Museum, Panoramic photo by Andrea Biffi. Click the image to open the interactive version.

If you want to help those in need, you should visit the Donate page.

Previous blog posts in the series:

3 Weeks After: Japan Earthquake Damage and Recovery

Japan Tsunami: Destruction of The Town of Miyako

Panoramic photos by Akila Ninomiya. If you are interested in publishing these panoramas in your site / publication, please contact us. The significant costs of travel, photography, and creation of the project blog were provided by Nodal Ninja, Kolor, Pano2VR, and PTGui.

Click the images to start the 360° panoramas.