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Welcome to is a website to demonstrate some technologies related to three dimensional panoramic photo viewers.

What is panorama?

Panoramic photography is a kind of angle-resolved optical measurement that directionally records optical properties of visible-light (wave-length[color] and intensity) in target environment in the real world by using 2D(or 3D) detectors. In many cases, it is fulfilled by a 2D detector consists of charge-coupled device(CCD) and optical lens, so called a "digital camera", that you may also have.

Panoramic photos are divided into several types according to how directional light is projected onto two dimensional detector plane, such as cylindrical, cubic(gnomonical projection), spherical(equirectangular projection), fisheye(equidistance or equisolidangle projection) and some more. Directional area (or otherwise solid angle) that can be covered by a panoramic photo depends on its projection type. Among types enumerated above, cylindrical and fisheye are for partially-covered panoramas. Cubic and spherical are used for fullly-covered panoramas, typically.

*A standard photo taken by standard lens and standard camera is also a gnomonically projected picture (same as cubic panorama). Gnomonical projection is a perspective projection that coincides with how a human being watches scenery by eyes. Therefore, a gnomonically projected picture looks like an undistorted copy of scenery to people.

About panoramic photo viewers

Panoramic viewer is a system for an inverse projection of panoramic photography. It maps two dimensionally recorded optical data (practically, RGBA pixels of panoramic digital photo) at right positions in virtual 3D space on computer. Therefore it produces a virtual environment that can be regarded as an optical copy of original environment in which the photo was taken. User can immersibly look or otherwise gaze around (by panning/zooming) as if the user would be standing at the position in the real world.

How to take a panoramic photo for panorama viewer

Panoramic photo-data for panorama viewers can be composed either by specially designed equipment (such as [1] an automatically rotating mechanical camera, [2] a camera + fisheye lens or other wider field of view lens, [3] a multi-lens/multi-ccd environmental snapshot camera or [4] a camera + a mirror) or by a standard digital camera. If you use a standard camera, you have to manually pan by rotating camera to snapshot in each direction, and have to stitch photos with some software afterwards. Some digital cameras may have built-in functionality to stitch photos directly for cylindrical panorama.

*You don't have to worry about what projection type you should use at least in early stages, because it is possible to convert the projection type of panoramic photo-data to another type easily by pixel-resampling.

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