Sunday, July 19, 2015

The 360 Degree Spherical Panoramas

I recently did a trek in the Himalayas (Pahalgham, Kashmir). While trekking, and clicking away with my newly purchased phone (A Samsung Galaxy Edge), I discovered that it had a feature called 360 Spherical Panorama (or photo-spheres).

I started experimenting with this mode and was really amazed at how easy Google had made it to create an immersive 360 degree view. More importantly, these panos could be easily uploaded to Google maps, and then viewed via Google Views. This link explains the process of creating and sharing these photo-spheres.

I was thrilled, and created a number of these photo-spheres during the trek. Upon returning back to civilization, I realized I had made one mistake. I had switched off the GPS during the trek to conserve battery, which meant that my photo-spheres did not have the geo-coordinates embedded, and Google Maps gives an error, if you try to upload a photo-sphere without the geo-coordinates.

After much trial-and-error, I downloaded an app called "GeoTag" (a free Android app), that allows you to embed the geo-tags manually. After downloading the app, and updating the geo-coordinates, I could finally upload my photo-spheres to Google Map.

Below are some of the photo-spheres that I captured. To view the 360 sphere, just click on the image, and move the mouse up, down, left or right.

1. Royal Sar Lake (This is a small lake). Locals believe that you should not put your hands in the water, and we were forbidden to enter the water. We could, however, go a little further where the water was flowing, and enter the water there.