Archive for the ‘News and Announcements’ Category

360Cities is pleased to announce today the launch of a new city gigapixel panorama – this time of Milan, Italy. The 150-gigapixel panorama was shot from the new Unicredit headquarters tower in Milan and created from 40,000 individual images. It forms a huge canvas on which many layers of information about Milan are presented, including a selection of panoramas of Milan created by 360Cities member photographers. Check out https://www.milaninsight.it/.

 

The 360Cities Android app is waiting for you to download it. Just go to the Google Play store and download it for free.

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The 360Cities panorama viewing app for Android has a motion-sensitive panorama viewer that allows you to move around in the interactive panoramas just by moving your Android device. The app supports VR viewing on Google Cardboard.

 

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And there are more features you will find useful too:

- View the featured, most popular, most recent and nearest panoramas to your current location.

- Comment on panoramas and read what others said about them.

- Save all your favorite panoramas in your account, so you can easily find your desired pano later on (ideal if you plan to travel somewhere).

- Find panoramas anywhere in the 360Cities World Map: take a virtual tour of pretty places and travel from city to city with ease.

- Use the search functionality for finding those panoramas you are looking for.

 

                                                   Gallery-Android.jpg   search-Android.jpg   panopage-Android.jpg

 Thanks to  Ackee who did a great job developing the app for us.

We’ve implemented some changes that have lead to a marked increase in site speed, i.e. a reduction of up to 300% in the time it takes for panoramas to load. You can especially notice this improvement on Android and iOS mobile devices.

 

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These improvements are a result of a continuous effort to improve both the performance and stability of 360cities.net.

360Stories is a 360-degree panoramic story player featuring content by the world’s leading panorama photographers. 360Stories’ immersive panoramas are built using an open standard, allowing anyone to create, share and play narrated panorama stories on the Samsung Gear VR. New stories are added regularly.

 

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You can create your own stories for the app. You need to prepare these files:

  • A set of panoramas (equirects files): Equirectangular image files must be JPEG format (not progressive), equirectangular, 2:1 ratio, with a maximum size of 4096×2048 pixels.

  • Title of your story: it’ll be used by 360Stories as the name of the story in 360Stories’ launch space.

  • Thumbnail for your story: it will be used by 360Stories in the app’s launch space. The file must be JPEG format (not progressive), 2:1 ratio, 720×360 pixels. It must be called “thumbnail.jpg”.

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  • Voice narration audio file for each panorama: please, write on the file title something related to the equirect referred on the voice narration.

  • Ambient audio file for each panorama (optional): it can be the same for more than one panorama. Write on the file title something related to the equirect referred on the ambient audio.

                          * An audio file containing voice narration can play at the same time as an audio file containing ambient sounds.

Please, add all these files to a folder. It’d look like this one:

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Then, zip it and send it to us: 360stories[at]360cities.net We will review your story and get back to you.

In an effort to improve our responsiveness to photographers’ issues and ideas and in order to provide better visibility into our own performance, we have just launched a new tool.

As a photographer you’ll have two ways to contact us:

 

1.- Contact support: Send us a message and report a issue or ask for help. We’ll contact you within 24 hours (usually less)! Please, don’t forget to include any useful info: user ID, screenshot, operating system, browser, error message…

 

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2.- Suggestions and ideas: Now there is a new way to share your ideas: Give Feedback.  Share your idea with the community and give points to it or to any other photographer’s idea. By doing so, we will have better insight into what is important to you.

 

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As a photographer, you have two ways to access to the Feedback and Help Desk tool from your dashboard:
                                                                                      

FAQ

- Do I have to Sign in the new service? Do I have to add all my data there?
- No. Just sign in with your 360Cities account. Fast and easy!

- Will the 360Cities Forum be closed?
- No. The Forum is a great tool for photographers to communicate with each other, have discussions about tech or artistic issues, and share news about panoramic photography… But we’d like you to send your reports and suggestions via the new 360Cities support.

Our thanks to Maestro photographer Bill Edwards for his collaboration on writing this blog post.

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This gallery is a reverential visit to a handful of the remaining fire lookouts in Washington State. For me, there is something completely magical about visiting a historic fire lookout. Although some are not too difficult to hike to, most require driving up terrible forest roads and hiking arduous miles up, up and up to reach their summit perches. The effort, however, is worth it because the destinations deliver stunning views that will take your breath away. And being there is a reminder of a more romantic past that represents an era before modern technology when solitary human beings dutifully scanned for signs of developing wildfires from austere glass walled cabins perched on rocky mountain summits throughout the northwest.

“It was a great life. You woke up to the greatest views of all. You breathed the freshest air in the world. You ate and did the chores when the spirit moved you. You had the whole mountain to call your own. And the government even paid you to be there! That’s how it was back in the 1930s when forestry agencies were working frantically to put a firewatcher on every mountaintop. Eight thousand men and women in the U.S. would spend each summer as an official government lookout during the three decades that followed.”

Ray Kresek, Heavens Gate Lookout, Idaho

In the early 1900s private fire watchers began to oversee the expansive white pine forests of Idaho. The arrival of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905 and subsequent historic wildfires launched the building and staffing government lookouts to protect America’s half billion acres of national forests.

Early lookouts were non-standard, freelanced affairs that ranged from small tents to spacious log cabins.  By 1915 the U.S. Forest Service had established standards for cabin construction with a 12’ x 12’ D-6 ‘cupola design’ with a glassed-in second story observatory. Nearly 200 were constructed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. By 1929 lookout designs had evolved to the L-4 model, a 14’ x 14’ frame cabin with gable shingle or hip roof and heavy shutters which were opened above the perimeter windows to provide shade in the summer. The original L-4 cost $500 from Spokane, WA or Portland, OR. This cabin was produced in kits for hauling by mule trains to their rugged mountain sites where they could be assembled on rock or cinder block foundations or timber towers. Other versions followed but the L-4 was the most ubiquitous with over 1,000 put into service. If you hike to many historic fire lookouts chances are high that you’ll visit an L-4.ç

“At the zenith of the lookout era there were more than 8,000 across America. Montana had 639. In Washington there were 656. Oregon had 849. Only in Idaho there were more, with a whopping 989 plus a hundred more “patrol” points visited each day! Only a few hundred are still manned, a few dozen by volunteers. The government rents some to would-be fire watchers to man a summit for a day or week. Others are even being restored by individuals at their own expense under special agreement with various agencies. Some of the cabins have become national historic monuments. Hundreds have survived only in tattered old photographs.”

Ray Kresek, Historic Lookout Project, Spokane, WA

According to recent records, only 92 of the 656 lookouts in Washington survive today, and there will likely be fewer in the future. Fire lookout hikes are among my favorites and I plan to visit as many as I can and add to this gallery as weather and time permit. I hope you enjoy these panoramas. Click here to check the “Fire Lookouts in Washington State” set.

Text and panoramas by Bill Edwards.

We are pleased to announce that the 360Cities panorama viewing app for Android devices will be available very soon.

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The 360Cities panorama viewing app for Android will have a motion-sensitive panorama viewer that will allow you to move around in the interactive panoramas just by moving your Android device. The app will also support VR viewing on Google Cardboard.

The app will also be FREE to download.

 

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And there are more features you will find useful too:

- View the best, most popular, most recent and nearest panoramas to your current location.

- Comment on panoramas and read what others have to say about them.

- Save all your favorite panoramas in your account, so you can easily find your desired pano later on (ideal if you plan to travel somewhere).

- Search for panoramas anywhere in the 360Cities World Map: take a virtual tour of pretty places and travel from city to city with ease.

                                                                                 Captura de pantalla 2015-03-04 a las 17.03.29.png                    Captura de pantalla 2015-03-04 a las 17.02.07.png

 

Projection and navigation modes have been available by right-clicking in an image, and now we have added these viewing options to the panorama menu.             Try clicking on the different projections to experiment with the change in perspective.

Normal View

Fisheye View

Architectural View

 

 

 

 

 

Stereographic View

Little Planet View

Panini view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also now share your favorite view from within a panorama with other people:

  • Select the view you like
  • Click on the share button    and click on copy:

  • Paste the link wherever you want to share the panorama – in an email, tweet, etc. The current projection mode will be added to the URL.

             https://www.360cities.net/image/nice-panorama-handle?proj=little_planet_projection#74.64,90.00,130.0

 

You can also choose between two navigation modes:

  • Click and Drag (set by default)

  • QTVR mode

Play with both of them and then choose the one you prefer by selecting it from the menu. The mode you choose will be the default navigation mode next time you open a panorama. Of course, you can easily change your preference from this menu any time.

 

There are now two ways to pay for your Plus, Pro or Company account: You can select whether to pay via PayPal or with your credit card.

It is easy and intuitive:

Click on upgrade your account, extend it or sign up and fill in the required information:

 

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Then, just select the payment method of our choice:

 

 

Whether Paypal or Credit Card:

 

 

Fill in the forms, click pay and start enjoying all the features of your Plus, Pro or Company account.

Your account will be automatically extended after one year, so you don’t have to worry about your business panoramas or sets being unpublished or your PRO embedded panos or portfolio view mode. You can cancel the automatic renewal by clicking on the “Don’t renew” button on the Choose plan page. Of course, you will have the choice to extend your account after that.

 

 

 

Panoramas on 360cities.net (the website) can now be seen in virtual reality (VR) on Google Cardboard, with support for other hardware headsets coming soon.

 

Here’s what you need to do in order to partake in the VR experience on 360cities.net:

  • Buy the Cardboard from Google or DIY
  • Get your Android or iPhone ready
  • Tap on the image – it will then go “fullscreen” and you’ll have 2 icons in top right corner – one is for gyro and one is for VR (eye)
  • Tap on the VR icon and activate the Gyro

 

  • The screen will be divided in two with the same image displayed side by side

 

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  • Insert your phone into the Cardboard viewer
  • You are now inside the panorama – look up, down, and around…and ENJOY!