Panoramas, or "panos" for short, are extremely-wide-angle photos that can be used for a variety of purposes. They are created by "stitching" together multiple photos into a single unit whose angular width can be arbitrarily wide--all the way up to 360° wide. Panoramas can be static images, as shown below in the (spherically rendered) image of the courtyard of the Clark Building on the Colorado State University campus:

Virtual Tours

Even better than a static image--even a 360-degree-wide one--is what is often called a virtual tour. A virtual tour is an interactive, 360-degree image that you can navigate at will. By clicking and dragging your mouse pointer, you can "turn around" as far as you like and look any direction. To zoom in on an object, hold the [Shift] ket, and to zoom out, hold the [Control] key. Also, in many virtual tours, you can also look straight up at the ceiling or sky, or straight down at the floor or ground. If you move your cursor over a "hotspot"--a hyperlinked and clickable area in the virtual tour--the cursor changes to a hand pointing, and you can simply click your mouse to go to that other virtual tour or website to which the hotspot is linked.

For example, click on the Virtual Tour below (it is an interactive version of the image above). Drag your mouse up, down, left, or right to steer the "camera," and use [Shift] and [Ctrl] to zoom in and out. Try it! (If the image below is an extremely-low-res gray image, wait until it finishes downloading; the virtual tour is in high-res color, and the file size is about 1.7MB).

These interactive panoramas--these virtual tours--are in the QuickTimeVR format, and are viewable via QuickTime®. QuickTime comes pre-loaded on most computers these days, so you should be able to simply click the above image to operate the virtual tour. If you discover that you don't have QuickTime on your computer, you can obtain it for free, for use on Wintel PCs or Apple Macintoshes, from Apple computer. Simply indicate which operating system you use, and follow the installation instructions.

See the Panorama section of the Portfolio page for a sampling of panoramas and virtual-tour projects we've done.

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