I’m one of those that tends to go to photo sites like Flickr if I have a minute to spare just to search for the name of a place I’d like to visit someday so that I can see photos that people have taken from there. It sure doesn’t beat actually going there, but if it’s as close as I’ll get to say, The Eiffel Tower, I’ll take it. Recently I stumbled upon a site that can make seeing these various places via photo even better. It’s called Panoye and it’s a site dedicated to panoramic photos. Today we’ll be taking a look at all that Panoye has to offer.
What is Panoramic Photography?
Before we get into Panoye, let’s first go over what panoramic photography is all about. To help with the explanation, I decided to go to Wikipedia to see how they explained it. They say “while there is no formal definition for the point at which “wide-angle” leaves off and “panoramic” begins, truly panoramic images are thought to capture a field of view comparable to, or greater than, that of the human eye – about 160 degrees by 75 degrees – and should do so while maintaining details across the entire picture.”
Panoramic photos offer complete views of an area which is why they’re so cool. Sometimes there are segmented panoramic photos meaning that they were assembled from a collection of multiple overlapping pictures. It’s actually fairly easy to create your own panoramic image which is something Ryan has explained how to do in the past.
What is Panoye?
As mentioned, Panoye is dedicated to panoramic photos. There you can upload, organize, geo-tag and publish your panoramas. As they say on their site, “Help us build a virtual tour all around the Earth.” Another important aspect of the site is going there simply as a viewer to see what people have published.
The easiest way to navigate Panoye is to use the Google Map that they have embedded at the top of the page. Remember, all of the images that people submit are geo-tagged so it’s easy to find a photo from a specific city or place. Another simple way to navigate is to just view the tags. Beaches, castles, parks, and volcanos are all examples of tags available. There are also tags specific to different cities and countries as well.
On their homepage, they have two columns of panoramas, one for popular ones and another for those that are new. This is another simple way that you can find great images on the site.
Once you click on an image, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like this:
The box that shows your image actually pans so that it looks like a person is standing in a single spot and rotating around in a circle. Some panoramic images are 360 degrees so the images pan around seamlessly. If it’s what they call a “partial” image, it still pans but it moves back and forth from side to side. The owners of the images are also able to add messages that appear at the top of the panorama while it’s scrolling.
Want to add your own Panoramas?
If you’re someone who takes panoramic pictures or assembles your own, you may want to think about sharing your work on Panoye. All you have to do is register for an account, and then you can start adding and sharing your content. You’re even able to organize your content into folders. Registration is free.
Socializing on Panoye
There is a social side to the site – users can leave comments or rate any panorama. There are also forums, although not very active, where you can go if you have any questions or what to discuss panoramic images.
Panoye offers three different feeds. If you subscribe to their main feed, you’ll be able to easily keep up with the latest panorama images that have been added. You can also subscribe to the comments or the forum which would be helpful for those of you who decided to register for an account and uploaded panoramic images.
Wrapping it up…
On each image page you’ll see a link that says “show image.” This will allow you to view the full image without any panning, and will probably require scrolling unless you have a dual monitor set-up and are able to stretch the image across two screens. Here’s a quick suggestion – if you find an image that you like and you’re using two monitors, you could easily use it for a background image.
While Panoye doesn’t have thousands upon thousands of images, it is a work in progress and has grown quite a bit since it first launched. Stop and take a minute to look around at some of the panoramas out there because they really are pretty amazing.