Paul Makepeace ;-)

Panorama outside the office

If you've got Java turned on in your browser you should see a 360o panorama below, taken on the evening of January 6 2002. It's a little dim I'm afraid as the light was fading. No Java? Here's the original (120K).

JAVA required to view this content.

Click and drag to scroll the panorama.

I haven't done anything fancy with the panorama like add hotspots or annotations so here is a brief description: The office is 167 Central Ave, Pacific Grove [map] right by the border of Monterey & Pacific Grove. Monterey is about a block down the road towards the hills. This proximity is useful to know if you are speeding through PG and have the cops on your tail: hit the gas through the lights and leave them in a cloud of hot rubber as you jump the border into Monterey, Dukes of Hazzard style.

(Yes, just kidding! Cops here do show no hesitation writing people up for about anything, be it the 90min parking or 25mph speed limit. I watch 'em all day long...).

The big biege building across the street with the brown tiled roof is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Administrative offices; to its left you can see the Bay itself. This picture doesn't really do justice to the view.

The Virtual Health Networks logo on the door welcomes you into the offices here. It's a bit dark, thankfully, so you can't really see my pile of junk by where I sit right there.

How it was made

Pictures are courtesy of my cute new Canon Powershot S300 (a.k.a. Digital IXUS 300) [review; they're less than $400 these days] which has a "Stitch Assist" mode that helps taking sequential overlapping shots: it maintains the same exposure level from the first shot and displays a chunk of the previous photo to line up with. The 14 resulting images were downloaded into PhotoStitch, the software that came with the camera, whence some magical transformations happened on the images, bending them back on themselves to account for the focal length of the camera. The process finished with more of the software's cleverness matching & alignment of the overlaps. I hand tweaked a couple of the matches. The image was then scaled down and dumped on my webserver.

You can download or view the panorama image itself.

Funny story: I had originally taken 15 shots and the software wasn't quite smart enough to ignore the extra. So I deleted the spare but accidently deleted the wrong one. PhotoStitch was undeterred however and merrily stitched the gap apparently using as an alignment marker a pair of similarly colored cars parked next to each other! The result was an obvious gap where part of the Learning Depot's storefront was missing but with a mysterious copper and silver car in front of it. I wish I'd kept it now...

Panorama viewers

There is a fine site, PanoGuide that has extensive comparisons and demos of a variety of panoramic viewers like this one. I, for no especially good reason aside from it being Java, free and could work direct from JPEG files, chose PanoPan's Jsphere Lite viewer [details].

There are an astonishing number of viewers: bare-bones jobs from 4K(!) that just spin & scroll to ones that allow hotspots (clickable areas that perform some action, or load new panoramas), titling, different perspectives and walk-throughs. Even a spherical format which features vertical panning too.

Have fun!

More camera silliness with the wrist camera and sucky X10 webcam.