Bubble Panos in Google Earth
The folks at Digital Urban have developed a really cool new technique for viewing 360 degree bubble panoramas in Google Earth. A spherical model containing the panorama floats above the surface of Earth, rotating fluidly in tandem with Google Earth to keep the views consistent as you fly around.
This technique is particularly suitable for KAP panoramas because you can place the model at the same elevation as the image was originally taken. In effect, you can view the panorama from the exact location it was shot, in the context of its surroundings (the entire planet, if you wish). Plus you can zoom “into” the panorama for a more conventional view that we are accustomed to using tools like Quicktime. Using a “normal” mouse, it is admittedly difficult to navigate the panorama in a conventional way, but I understand it is easier using more sophisticated devices.
A Few Examples Using my KAP Panos
- Hoover Tower, Stanford Campus
- Pacific Shores Center
- Pink Carpet, Pacific Grove
- Pt. Bonita Lighthouse, Marin Headlands
Digital Urban also pioneered a related technique, where you can use Google Earth to acquire aerial imagery for a bubble panorama without risking your camera. During KAPiCA ‘06, I showed a high-resolution view of Wellington, New Zealand from 5000 feet up that I created using this technique.