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Google+ converts DSLR panoramas into Photo Spheres

16

The Google Photo Sphere 360-degree panorama feature was introduced in November 2012 with version 4.2 of the Android mobile OS. However, until now, viewing 360-degree panoramas not created with Google Camera or a compatible app was a slightly cumbersome process. You had to manually add a XMP metadata file to your images in order to view them as a Photo Sphere in Google Plus. 

Google has now changed that with an update to Google+. You can now easily view 360-degree panoramas created manually with images from a DSLR or compact camera in the Google+ Photo Sphere viewer. To do that you have to make sure AutoAwesome is enabled on your Google+ profile and then upload a 360x180 equirectangular panorama image.

The image will then be auto detected by Google+ and a Photo Sphere notification appears in the top-right corner. A new private version of the image will be added via AutoAwesome "Pano" and can be viewed interactively in Google+ and published to Google Maps and Views.

Although Photo Sphere on your Android smartphone is great for capturing and viewing your surroundings in an immersive way, the stitching quality usually leaves a lot to be desired. For the perfectionists among pano shooters, it's great news there is now an easy way to upload and view your high-quality 360-degree images on Google's social network. 

Source: Google+ | Via: TNW


  

Comments

Total comments: 16
tokuro
By tokuro (2 months ago)

looks like http://photosynth.net/ is nicer...

0 upvotes
MikeFairbanks
By MikeFairbanks (2 months ago)

There's a long way to go in this technology. I have the Ricoh Theta 360, and the photo quality is on par with digital point and shoots I used over ten years ago. My Iphone 4s produces a dramatically better photo. I guess as a photographer that is what bugs me. I can't stand grainy, low-res photos in which the pixels are showing.

0 upvotes
MikeFairbanks
By MikeFairbanks (2 months ago)

They keep calling it 360 degrees, but a sphere is more than one complete turn. We're talking about several axis. (Is Axis the same singular and plural?)

0 upvotes
Storky
By Storky (2 months ago)

Did anyone get this to work? I'm trying like crazy but can't get the 360x180 file to upload. It just stops in the middle of uploading and that't it. Now I've finally got a really small one to upload, but there is no Photo Sphere thing happening.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ben Parker
By Ben Parker (2 months ago)

Storky:

I had a similar problem when I first tried to upload large panoramas. There appears to be a size limit although no error message is output to indicate that. I find that I can upload successfully so long as I keep the size down to about 14000 by 7000 pixels.

Ben
https://www.google.com/maps/views/profile/109286439554462042923?gl=us

0 upvotes
NexOffender
By NexOffender (2 months ago)

I think it's liek the "blogosphere" but for photographers.

0 upvotes
Boss of Sony
By Boss of Sony (2 months ago)

I make first comment: what is a photo sphere?

0 upvotes
Jabba23
By Jabba23 (2 months ago)

it is something similar to a 360 degree panorama

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

if you click on the first link "Google Photo Sphere" in the article above you'll find another article that gives you a better idea of what it is.

1 upvote
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (2 months ago)

stripped down version of Microsoft Photosynth. Too bad given the unpopularity of Photosynth, I doubt MS will spend the resource to port it to Android.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

In what way is it stripped down? I've used the Photosynth version on Windows Mobile and it works pretty much in the same way as Photo Sphere on Android.

0 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (2 months ago)

Sorry for the late reply. First off, I like to point out that my experience with Photoshpere is based on 4.2. A quick check doesn't suggest any major improvement.

Photosync uses sophisticated bundle adjustment algorithium to construct a 3D model from a collection of pictures in a given location. These picture can be taken at any angle, zoom range or even different camera. The result can be mapped or traced their original pictures; and Photosynth has a lot of "respect" to the original photo and mostly free of distortion. When you view a Photosync image, you are manipulate a 3D model instead of viewing a stitched picture.

some good examples of Photosynth:
http://photosynth.net/preview/view/985510db-4dc7-4aec-a1ee-40a7d1e9d334

http://photosynth.net/preview/view/ef9c7753-3bd7-494d-b2ac-4cbb36dfba89

http://photosynth.net/preview/view/802c386c-110f-4bcf-bf7b-a4a18a4cc236

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (2 months ago)

Photo Sphere on the other hand, is more like a multi-axis stitching software that produces a 3D panoramic view. The quality is similar to what you see in streetview, good but not great. And like many panoramic software, the stitching usually produce distortion. When you view the result, it is exactly like viewing a stitched picture.

Some good examples of Photo Sphere:
https://www.google.com/maps/views/view/108457998715135985488/photo/PMnSLZkHxBYAAAQIuBHgqg?gl=ca&heading=128&pitch=72&fovy=75

https://www.google.com/maps/views/view/109657117474402196150/photo/HietFb0yRkAAAAQIt8yP5g?gl=ca&heading=331&pitch=96&fovy=75

Again, my opinion is based on older version. If things have change, I am happy to learn.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ben Parker
By Ben Parker (2 months ago)

I think it's worth noting that Chrome does a noticeably better job at rendering photospheres than some of the other browsers. For example, the scene below contains lines that converge at the top of a domed ceiling. In Chrome, the lines are nice and straight but in Internet Explorer, they go a bit wavy:

https://www.google.com/maps/views/view/109286439554462042923/photo/UbJCEpFT1b0AAAGuwlYaFA?gl=us&heading=316&pitch=106&fovy=32

0 upvotes
Ben Parker
By Ben Parker (2 months ago)

One other thing of note is that photospheres are displayed a little differently under Google Maps than under the Google Views interface. In particular, it's often possible to zoom in further and see more detail under Google Maps. Here's the Google Maps link to the photosphere referenced above in way of comparison:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.053841,-117.183541,3a,15y,351.53h,91.01t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1sUbJCEpFT1b0AAAGuwlYaFA!2e0!3e11

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (2 months ago)

I have only used Photosynth on Windows Phones and the results did not come close to Photo Sphere on a Nexus 4. I guess you can get much better results shooting with a DSLR and creating the Panos on the website.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 16
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