Hi guys! We hope your holiday was amazing and you celebrated the Christmas and the New Year’s Eve properly!

The good thing is that the 360Cities community photographers were busy, too, so we have a couple of brand new quality panoramic photos coming your way. Here they are!

 

Mars Panorama – Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 1197 by Andrew Bodrov (click the picture to open the pano)

Can you believe it’s been three years since the Mars Curiosity rover landed on Mars? It’s been taking photos since then, and thanks to Andrew Bodrov we can enjoy them in a lovely spherical view. This one was taken on Curiosity’s solar day 1197 and consists of 199 individual photos stitched together.

Great job by Andrew and – of course – the Curiosity rover. Make sure you read the pano’s description, too, as you can read some pretty interesting background there!

 

Khibiny crossroad by Yuri Zvezdny (click the picture to open the pano)

Back to the Earth (to be honest, there’s more panos taken here)! On Yuri’s pano, you see one of the most beautiful things Earth’s nature has created – the northern lights. No need to add anything else – just watch.

 

Galerie L’Athanor by Mark Fink (click the picture to open the pano)

Mark takes us to an unusual shopping mall in Pezenas, France. As he mentions in the description, this is no ordinary place to shop. A gallery dedicated to art with its shops and museums is definitely a place to visit on your trip to France.

 

Inside Double Arch Alcove by Marek Kosiba (click the picture to open the pano)

Marek’s panos have had their spot in our weekly summary for a while now and this week is no exception, as we simply love the way Marek sees the nature. This time he climbed to the Double Arch Alcove in the Zion National Park, to take a magnificent picture from there. Have a look!

Make sure you check Marek’s other pano from last week, from Vermilion cliffs in Arizona.

 

View over Durdle Door by Peter Stephens (click the picture to open the pano)

We finish this week’s round-up with a lovely shot of the Durdle door near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is a magnificent natural arch of rock, looming over a lovely beach just next to it. Great pano, Peter!

 

If you want to procrastinate a little bit longer, we get it. Here’s more:

Prague Rooftop Bar-Old Town Square by Diana Vielhaber (click the picture to open the pano)

Saint Isaac’s Square by Evgeniy Pavlenko (click the picture to open the pano)

Hamburg – footbridge over the Brooksfleet in the historical storage city by Ruediger Kottmann (click the picture to open the pano)

We have an interesting perspective here at 360cities on what people call “VR”. Because we have been, like, totally all over VR for ages. I mean ages. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a trip in the Wayback Machine!

Here we are in June 2007.

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“The World’s Virtual Reality Portal”. Now isn’t that cute?

I can almost hear myself muttering that as I don my stovepipe hat and gallop away on my steam-powered penny farthing, or something.

Anyway, we didn’t keep that dreadfully last-century phrase for long. By October 2007 we were “the World’s fastest-growing Virtual Reality network, now with 28 cities and over 3,200 virtual reality panoramas”.

And then in November 2008 we were doing basically what we are doing now – bringing interactive, panoramic photography to the mainstream.

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One thing is fairly clear though – we started out calling ourselves “Virtual Reality Photographers” and then kind of gave up on that because, well, no one know what the hell that meant.

Mind you, Google Streetview had only just barely started to exist at this point also, and it was still years away before dead bodies started showing up on their Rio images. All to say that in 2007 and 2008, people didn’t know that 360 photography existed at all, and didn’t know what it was good for, and sure as hell didn’t know what “virtual reality photography” was either. And it can be hard to sell something to people when this is the state of things….

And this is all a roundabout way of saying “yeah we’re gnarled grizzled veterans who have been keeping the VR flame alive since the dark times of the beginning of this century”. Which brings me to the question that is this blog post:

Where is VR going now, and is it going to finally hit the mainstream… finally?

This thing we know as Virtual Reality somehow became a thing again after a long period of being kind of forgotten as an embarrassing fad in the 1990’s, something that was interesting, but clearly not ready in any way.

What changed? The commoditization of mobile hardware, making all the necessary parts cheap; and, John Carmack, who, realizing that Palmer Luckey was onto something, especially with Samsung ready to get serious, jumped on board as Oculus CTO, instantly giving Oculus a kind of god-like status, and instantly making the entire medium of VR legitimate again.

But Oculus hasn’t actually released any of their own hardware yet. They have worked closely with Samsung, who have released the Gear VR “powered by Oculus” and it is a magnificent piece of hardware, and it really works.

And the kicker? One of the most awesome things in VR is 360 Photography!

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The chicken and egg problem with VR today

The problem with VR remains that until there is a lot of stuff to do in VR, no one is going to want to buy a VR headset. And unless lots of people own VR headsets, no one is going to want to develop stuff to do in those VR headsets. This is a chicken and egg problem that exists for any new platform, and VR is no different.

Meanwhile, Oculus has been taking their time – longer than people thought – to release their consumer hardware, partly for this reason. They have been developing and nurturing the ecosystem of VR developers and software so that there is at least something to do when you put on a VR headset.

At least 360cities has been collecting 360-degree photography for ages, so we have a lot of interesting content that already exists :-) But other stuff has to be developed from scratch. Some games have been rewritten / adapted for VR, with varying results (such as Temple Run, which is perfect for VR with some people, and with other people it is the most vomit-worthy thing you could possibly play in VR). And of course there are a multitude of 360-degree cameras being developed, including Sphericam (founded by this author), Bubl, 360fly, Giroptic, Jaunt, Nokia Ozo, and others.

And there are more VR headsets coming out this year besides the Oculus Rift, including the HTC Vive and Sony Playstation VR, as well as a few well-funded chinese ones.

So…. is 2016 the year that VR finally hits the mainstream? Maybe, almost. :-) Considering that most people have not even heard of VR headsets yet, it honestly seems like a bit of a stretch to say that it will manage to completely envelop popular culture in the span of a year, when it is still essentially at nearly zero. But it is possible. By the end of 2017? I absolutely do think that by that time, most average people who are not living under a rock will know about VR and will want to try or buy a VR headset.

So yes, it is coming. It might not happen as quickly as we’d like, but we’ve already been waiting for a while, and it’s going to happen sooner or later.

 

2015 has already gone, but we have lots of panoramas from all over the world to show you.

New Years’s eve can be great fun for photographers, and even more so for 360º photographers. Here are some of the folks who have shot some panoramas on or around New Year’s Eve:

Willy Kaemena says Happy New Year from Bremen, Germany.

Wong Chichuen gives us a Happy New Year panorama from Hong Kong.
Jean-Pierre Lavoie wishes us Happy New Year from Montreal.
Tomasz Mielnik says Happy New Year from Poland.
Christopher O’Grady says Happy New Year from Singapore.

Diego Martinčić wishes you a Happy New Year from Croatia.

Akiyoshi Odagawa gives us a Happy New Year from Yokohama.

Ali Zareiee wishes us Happy New Year from Oslo, with this 360º panoramic video.

Bart de Boer says Happy New Year from Maastricht, Holland.

 

Here are some more new year’s-themed panoramas from previous years.

 

 

Hi guys! Even though the Chrismas holidays are getting closer and closer, we didn’t forget. Here’s the list of the coolest panoramic photos uploaded to 360Cities last week!

 

Tai Miu (tin Hau Temple) by Pengfei Xu (click the picture to open the pano)

For the start, we’ll make a short trip in Asia. Pengfei Yu made this stunning aerial pano from above the Tin Hau Temple in the Joss House bay in Hong Kong. It gives you the image of how beautiful the whole area is, just check it out!

 

Guizhou Province: Mt Fanjingshan by wongchichuen (click the picture to open the pano)

Thanks to Wong Chi Chuen, you can fully enjoy this fantastic view from Mt. Fanjingshan in China. This really must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth, don’t you agree?

 

Dachstein Suspension Bridge by Gorazd Bajt (click the picture to open the pano)

Amazing view from Asian mountains is followed by European mountains – more specifically, Dachstein in Austria, with it suspension bridge, which is the highest one in the whole country. And check out the view!

 

Sunset Markt Indersdorf, Aerial View by T. Emrich (click the picture to open the pano)

We fell in love with this pano by T. Emrich from Landkreis Dachau in Bavaria, Germany. The sunset provided the pano with amazing colours, making it look absolutely fantastic. Brilliant job!

 

Ah-shi-sle-pah, Wilderness Study Area by Marek Kosiba (click the picture to open the pano)

With the Star Wars buzz all around, we can’t step aside. For example, Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area looks completely like the movies were made there! Have a look around! Also, there’s more from Marek Kosiba – Randsburg Ghost Town and Mono Lake at dawn.

 

In case you want more panoramic beauty, we highly recommend you to check out the following uploads:

Martijn Baudoin made a trip to Havana and made a couple of beautiful panos over there. Click the pictures to open them.

Thanks to Heiner Straesser you can check out three panos of historical momunents in Turkey:

And there’s even more!

Arganzuela bridge of dominique perrault by luis davilla (click the picture to open the pano)

Statue Square Christmas Lights by wongchichuen (click the picture to open the pano)

 

We wish a happy and healthy holiday season to all and lots of happiness, health,

and success in 2016 as well.

 

Thank you for your support, feedback, and wonderful panoramas.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our FREE Holiday Season Offer.

 

New Year 2016
The 360Cities Team

Hi guys! Long time no see, but you can be sure we’re back with the summary of the most beautiful panos of the week! This time – a little bit longer summary than usually.

This Monday we’ll have a look at the most special places on the planet again – and we can’t even describe how happy we are our photographers were there.

Today, we start in Japan with two magnificent panos by Kiyoharu Takamura and Bibouroku Tabito.

 

Ooishi park in twilight by kiyoharu takamura (click the picture to open the pano)

The Oishi Park in Japan is an ideal spot for taking photos of Mt. Fuji, together with lovely flowers growing all around. Kiyoharu did just that and it worked out perfectly.

 

Coming of Autumn of abolished line alley by bibouroku tabito (click the picture to open the pano)

On our second pano from Japan, Bibouroku Tabito took unbelieveably colourful picture of abandoned train tracks heading into a tunnel – which may sound like it’s from a horror movie, but you don’t have to be afraid. The colours make the pano look so cheerful! Have a look yourself!

 

Mastio di Matilde – Livorno by Stefano Gelli (click the picture to open the pano)

Is it even possible to make a weekly summary without a quality aerial pano? We don’t think so, because they’re awesome – like this one by Stefano Gelli. Even though it’s a bit overcast in Livorno, the pano makes the city look so quiet!

 

Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in Winter by Marek Kosiba (click the picture to open the pano)

Taking pictures of animals is always a bit difficult, especially when the photos are panoramic. However, Marek managed to take a spectacular shot of ducks leaving to a faraway place (maybe?) and the pano looks amazing. Check it out!

 

Lava Flow on Chain Of Craters Road by Marek Kosiba (click the picture to open the pano)

Here’s another one by Marek – this time from Hawaii. This seriously is a thing you don’t get to see every day. Unbelieveable shapes of the lava flow looks absolutely beautiful – you just don’t want to be there when it’s hot!

 

Wait! We’re not done yet – there’s much more places you can visit through the panos our community photographers uploaded!

Check them out – Let’s start in Germany (in Baden-Wuerttemberg or Bremen). Or other European places – Finland, Poland, Russia, Romania, Italy (or Tuscany here). We have a couple of French panos as well – from Strasbourg, or Pezenas. We’re certain you don’t want to miss other panos from Turkey (there are also two more from Phrygia – here and here, or other two from Cappadocia here and here).

You know what? Let’s head out of Europe. Thanks to our panos, you can check out Sannur Cave Circle, The Falcon headed Horus or the Chamber of Khonsu in Egypt. Why not check out panos from Seoul and Havana?

Well, that was A LOT of panos! Hopefully enough to keep you busy until next time. See you!

We’re celebrating the holiday season with a free offer to all contributors to 360Cities’ Panoramic World. Our offer does not involve any work on your part and there is no cost to you.

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If this sounds interesting, keep reading

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As you have no doubt read, Getty Images has become our distribution partner for image licensing, particularly, although not exclusively, for high volume editorial usage. Please check out our updated FAQ to learn more about our exciting partnership with Getty. We successfully soft-launched on gettyimages.com a couple of weeks ago with a limited number of panoramas and we’re moving toward a high-profile hard launch in early 2016 with a larger set of panoramas.If this sounds interesting, keep reading

Preparing images for Getty Images is a time consuming process. We have to check and augment the metadata that you supplied with each panorama in order to ensure that the metadata conforms with Getty formats and best practices so that Getty’s thousands of customers can more easily discover your images.

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So what’s the offer?

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As a Holiday Season special offer, we are offering you priority submission to Getty Images. If you accept our offer, we’ll put your qualifying images at the front of our Getty submission queue. While we cannot guarantee how quickly your images will actually appear on Getty, we can promise you that your qualifying images will have receive priority review and submission.

By accepting this offer to get your panoramas on to gettyimages.com sooner, you may see an accelerated increase in your royalty earnings in 2016. No sales results are guaranteed of course, but every advantage helps.

All you need to do to accept our offer is to check the checkbox in your account edit page under the Licensing tab:

Please note that this offer is valid until 23:59 GMT on 7 January 2016. We encourage you to take advantage and opt in for priority submission to Getty Images.

Seasons Greetings,

The 360Cities Team

 

 

Hey guys! We’re back with our summary of the coolest panos uploaded to 360Cities. Sorry you didn’t hear from us last week, we were quite busy with our cooperation with Getty, but that does not mean there was nothing to see here!

Let’s have look at the most wonderful panoramas our community photographers made in the last TWO weeks!

 

Namsan Tower N Seoul Tower Seoul South Korea by Martijn Baudoin (click the picture to open the pano)

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We start in Seoul, with a magnificent shot of South Korea’s capital by Martijn Baudoin, who took this pano from one of the highest places in the city, from the top of the Namsan Tower. Have a look around, discover different parts of the city, as well as beautiful surroundings. Great work!

 

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul South Korea V by Martijn Baudoin (click the picture to open the pano)

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Martijn Baudoin was on fire! On another pano from Seoul, we see the Gyengbokgung palace with its magnificent architecture and a lovely pool. Make sure you check out another Martijn’s pano from the palace here.

 

Almost Winter by Jürgen Schrader (click the picture to open the pano)

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It’s been getting really cold over here in Europe and Jürgen Schrader’s pano from Bavaria, Germany, definitely proves it. The land slowly dresses to white and it looks like a fairytale all around!

 

Cygnus Cargo Module by Jason Perrone (click the picture to open the pano)

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This is what panos are great for – they take you to places that you could never visit in your life. Like this one by Jason Perrone from the Payload Hazardous Servicing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida. The silver cylinder you can see there, is the cargo module of the Cygnus spaceship – have a look at it!

 

Murray Star Maze, Scone Palace, Scotland by Daniel Oi (click the picture to open the pano)

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This is the Murray Star maze at Scone Palace in Scotland. The view from the bridge overlooking the maze gives you the image of how big it really is. How tough is it to find a way out?

 

Wait, we’re not done yet!

There’s a couple of other cool panos ready for you! Heiner Straesser made a lovely pano of the Jerusalem Synagogue in Prague, Mohamed Attef visited the Small Temple of Nefertari at Abu Simbel, Egypt.

Philippe Bleau made a panoramic photo of a restaurant in Chile, completely made from recycled materials, Lorenzo Rossato made a pano of an amazing cave in Italy, and Ali Haider took a pano of the Naulakha Pavilion in Pakistan.

Check them all out – and see you next week (really, we promise)!

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!