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Category Archives: 360 virtual tours

One 360 panorama is more then a thousand photo´s.

360Cities partnering with Microsoft on Windows 8 Bing Travel app


After months of integration work, we’re pleased to announce that Microsoft is now displaying 360Cities panoramas as part of their Travel App, powered by Bing, in the new Windows 8 Release Preview launched on May 31st. There are currently over 4,300 of our stunning panoramas, each with attribution to the photographer and a link back to the panorama on  We expect to increase the number of panoramas available on the service over time.

According to Troy Batterberry, Principal Group Program Manager, “We are excited to partner with 360Cities and to integrate their beautiful panoramas into our Bing Travel app.  360Cities’ panoramas offer Windows 8 users an immersive and visual way to discover and explore destinations from all over the world.”

We’ve made a short video demo for those who haven’t yet installed the Windows 8 Release Preview:

Google unveils virtual tours of Stonehenge, Jerusalem, other ‘world wonders’


Stonehenge, Jerusalem, other ‘world wonders’


If your budget is too tight to actually stroll along the banks of the Seine or trek through Jerusalem, Google is now offering a virtual alternative — digital tours of famous sites across the world.

The World Wonders Project uses the same Street View technology that allows people to virtually navigate their neighborhoods through Google Maps, but the cameras are focused on historic and treasured sites such as Florence, Stonehenge and ancient Kyoto instead.

Although many of the images are gathered with cars that have a camera mounted on top, more difficult-to-reach spots, or publicly inaccessible sites, have been recorded on a pedestrian “trike” and other devices.

“With advancements in our camera technologies we can now go off the beaten track to photograph some of the most significant places in the world so that anyone, anywhere can explore them,” the company announced on the new website.

The project, unveiled Thursday, includes 132 famous spots in 18 countries. Historic and notable spots on the website include Shark Bay in Australia, the Golden Gate Park Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco and a smattering of sites across Europe.

The U.N. cultural agency UNESCO and the World Monuments Fund are partnering with the company to provide information about the treasured spots. Videos, photographs and interactive models also spangle the site; people can submit snapshots of the famous places for possible inclusion on the website as well.

So far, the project does not include any sites in Africa and is sparse across much of Asia and South America, an absence that annoyed some commenters, who pointed out the gap on YouTube and Twitter. Google says it hopes to continually add more sites with the help of its partner agencies.


White Tip Shark Ilot Mato South Reef New Caledonia

White Tip Shark Ilot Mato South Reef New Caledonia in New Caledonia


Panoramic photo by Richard Chesher

When I took this image of the white tip shark, Triaenodon obesus, it was about one metre from the camera lens. It looks big because it was so close, but was only about 1.4 metres long. Normally these sharks are kind of hard to get close to – at least on normal terms. One can get a lot closer when feeding them – but that’s one thing I don’t get involved with; feeding them with bait or feeding them with parts of myself.

I have to admit that I don’t think sharks are cuddly creatures. I don’t trust them. They have a chilly, unintelligent persona and I don’t feel comfortable taking my eyes off one when I see it in the water. They normally reciprocate the feeling (humans are a lot more dangerous than sharks) so we tend to go our separate ways pretty quick if we happen to meet unexpectedly. But this shark was apparently unaware of what I was and seemed quite comfortable hanging around. In fact 3 or 4 of its mates were hanging around, too. They were not sure of what kind of creatures Freddy and I were because we were wearing our stunning zebra-striped leotards. You can see Freddy in hers, swimming up the coral gully on the reef behind the shark.

The sharp, high contrast pattern of these leotards confuse our normal human shape in shark eyes (also in fish-eyes) and the reef creatures are a whole lot less worried about us than when we look like a normal human killer fish. The suits also have the benefit (if you call getting close to sharks a benefit) of protecting our tender skins from the sun, the occasional jellyfish or stinging coral. It even holds a little body heat.

For more about diving and snorkelling spots in New Caledonia’s fabulous lagoon, check out the cruising guide to New Caledonia.


White House Partners with Google Art Project for Virtual Tour

Google Art Project


In what the Obama administration is describing as another step in its attempts to increase the public’s access to the White House, the First Lady’s office announced on Tuesday that the Google Art Project will be creating a virtual 360-degree tour of the historic building’s public rooms.

Launched in early 2011, the Google Art Project provides virtual tours of many of the world’s preeminent art museums. As a public museum, a private residence, and the executive office of the President, the White House fills many roles. It will join museums like the National Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Google’s site.

The statement from the First Lady’s office announcing the partnership included quotes from a video address featuring Michelle Obama will be posted on the Google Art Project’s White House site. In the remarks, the first lady emphasizes the White House’s role as “the people’s house.”

“Thousands of people have walked these halls and gazed at the artwork,” Mrs. Obama will say in the video. “They’ve examined the portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. They’ve imagined the history that’s unfolded here. And now you can do all of that without leaving your home. So go ahead, look around, enjoy the history and the beauty of these rooms. Because after all, this is your house, too.”

The release announcing the new partnership between the White House and Google goes on to explain that “the White House is the only building in the world that is simultaneously the home of a head of state, the executive office of a head of state, and is regularly open to the public for tours.”

Check out the tour at the Google Art Project.


CNN White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy



CNN White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy