Panorama at Moki Dugway

The Moki Dugway is a section of the Utah state route 261. The winding road descends a height of approx. 335 m (1,100 ft) over a length of 4.8 km (3 miles).

This image is a cropped and tuned version of this spherical image.

Panorama at Moki Dugway
Panorama at Moki Dugway

Geotag Icon Show on map
Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: DSLR-A900
Exposure Time (sec): 1/2000
F-Number: 6.3
Focal Length (mm): 10
Lens: Sigma 10mm/F2.8
ISO: 200

Statue near Cathedral of Messina

This statue is located near the Cathedral of Messina. The cathedral has been built in the 12th century. However it had to be rebuilt after a massive earth quake in 1908 und again after a fire in World War II.


Geotag Icon Show on map
Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: NEX-6
Exposure Time (sec): 1/320
F-Number: 7.1
Focal Length (mm): 7.5
Lens: Walimex 7.5mm/F3.5
ISO: 100

Cathedral of Messina – Nave

The Cathedral of Messina has been built in the 12th century. However it had to be rebuilt after a massive earth quake in 1908 und again after a fire in World War II. The floor has very nice ornamental patterns, so be sure to check out this reprojection!

Geotag Icon Show on map
Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: NEX-6
Exposure Time (sec): 1/8
F-Number: 7.1
Focal Length (mm): 7.5
Lens: Walimex 7.5mm/F3.5
ISO: 100

Five easy steps to publish a spherical panorama using Google Views

Preface

Some information on this post is outdated! Google Views has been migrated to Google Maps / Google Streeet View. Outdated information has been struck through.

Google added a nice feature to their set of web based applications recently. Publishing geo located spherical panoramas (aka Photo Spheres) on Views.

Once these panoramas are published they can also be embedded in other web sites. This article explains how you can achieve this.

Prerequisites:

  1. A Google+ account (Get one here).
  2. An equirectangular panorama (or a full 360° cylindrical panorama)

Step1: Create an equirectangular image

Use your favourite stitching software to create an equirectangular image. I usually use PTGui for this purpose. But there are plenty of other solutions available:

Step2: Add Photo Sphere meta data to your panorama

When dealing with Google a spherical panorama is called a Photo Sphere. But in fact this is only just an equirectangular image containing special meta data tags embedded in the file. You find the official Photo Sphere meta data documentation here. Starting with Android Version 4.2 (Jelly Bean) mobile phones can be used to create them directly. When you are working with the conventional workflow of a panoramic photographer you have to add this information into the image manually. There are several ways possible to achieve this, the methods are covered in a separate post.

Step 3: Upload your Photo Sphere to Maps

There are several options available:

One of the easiest ways is to search for a place in Maps. When the place is found there is a section with photos. A small icon should show which says: Add a photo. Just click it, upload a Photo Sphere and you’re done!

One even easier way is to use the Street View App on Android or iOS

The following steps are mostly outdated (old workflow with Views), and are only here for reference purposes

Step 3: Check your Google Plus default image settings

Important: Before you proceed to upload your images there are two settings you should check on your Google Plus settings:

Google+-Photo-Settings
Google+-Photo-Settings

I think the two most important settings you should check are:

  1. Upload my photos at full size to be checked ON. Otherwise your images are scaled down to a width of 2000 pixels.
  2. Auto-enhance should be switched OFF. Otherwise Google enhances the images automatically. This may be a good idea for crappy mobile phone images, but not for already perfectly created high quality equirectangulars!

Step 4: Publish your Photo Sphere to Maps Views

When your panorama has the required Photo Sphere meta information you can publish your panorama on Google Views. The first step to publish your panorama on Google Views is to upload it to your Google account. You do this using your Google Plus photos section

Google+ -Uploading Images
Google+ -Uploading Images

After the uploading process has finished you can control whether your image hsa been recognized as a Photo Sphere. This is the case when the Photo Sphere Symbl is shown on the image. This could look something like this:

Google Photo Sphere Icon
Google Photo Sphere Icon

When you don’t see the icon in the middle of your image something went wrong!

When you see the icon you can proceed to publish your panorama on Google Views. Open the homepage and search the little blue camera icon on the upper right corner LittleBlueCamera. Press it and you will be able to select one of your Photo Spheres uploaded to Google Plus. After confirming the selection the panorama will be added to your gallery. However it may take some time for it to show up. The panorma will also be published on Google Maps – after a review process

Step 5: Share or embed the finished panorama

For the final step you open the newly uploaded panorama on your Views gallery. On the bottom left corner you see an area containing a small map of the location of the panorama. Search for the share icon Share Symbol and press it. You’ll see a small window from which you can copy the required HTML iframe – code to embed the panorama on a web page.

Additional links

https://plus.google.com/117971837164857644538/posts/FDipsC8XeFQ
http://exsight360.com/blog/how-to-upload-non-android-360-panoramas-to-google-maps/

How to add mandatory Photo Sphere meta data to an equirectangular image

Preface

Some information on this post is outdated! Google Views has been migrated to Google Maps / Google Streeet View. Outdated information has been struck through.

Google added a new feature to their set of web based applications recently. Publishing geo located spherical panoramas (aka Photo Spheres) on Views.

In another article, Markus already described the complete workflow which is needed to publish a panoramic image on Views and embed it into your website.

In this article I will describe several methods of writing and displaying the mandatory meta data which is used by a photo sphere.

The methods are

  1. Using the website http://street-sphere.appspot.com/
  2. Using ExifToolGUI, ExifTool and a special workspace definition file (Windows only, read and write)
  3. Using a batch file and ExifTool (command-line only, droplet for Windows available, read and write)
  4. Using a custom metadata panel within Photoshop (tested with PS C6, PS CC, read and write)
  5. ExifMetaLrPlugin for Lightroom (tested with Lr 4, read)

As a prerequisite we assume that you already have geotagged your images. It is important to note, that you need at least latitude, longitude and the heading in the final image. For example you can do this with Geosetter on Windows, or with ExifTool.

1. Using the website

Google set up the website http://street-sphere.appspot.com, where you can upload a JPG image and populate the required metadata. Unfortunately you have to be online and you have to up- and download the files. And not every filetype is supported. Otherwise it works fine, you just have to follow the instructions on the website.

2. ExifToolGUI and the GPano workspace

As ExifToolGUI is only available for Windows, you can skip to the other solutions if you run a different operating system on your machine.

First install the latest version of ExifTool by Phil Harvey. Be sure to get the stand-alone Windows executable, extract it to a path of your choice and rename it to

exiftool.exe

and copy it to a location which is already part of your search path.

Then install the latest version of ExifToolGUI as described on the homepage in section “2. ExifToolGUI” at the top of the page.

Save the following lines to a path of your choice with the filename

GPano.ini
[WorkspaceTags]
EXIF=-GUI-SEP
Image Width=-ImageWidth^[8000] Don't change unless you know, what you do!
Image Height=-ImageHeight^[4000] Don't change unless you know, what you do!
EXIF GPS=-GUI-SEP
GPS Latitude=-GPS:GPSLatitude^No Hint defined
GPS Longitude=-GPS:GPSLongitude^No Hint defined
Heading (EXIF)=-GPS:GPSImgDirection^[120.15] Direction in ° from [0] to [359.99]
GPano=-GUI-SEP
StitchingSoftware=-XMP-GPano:StitchingSoftware^[PTGui Pro 9.1.8]
ProjectionType=-XMP-GPano:ProjectionType^only [equirectangular] is currently supported by Google products
UsePanoramaViewer=-XMP-GPano:UsePanoramaViewer^[TRUE] if image should show as photosphere
Heading (Pano)=-XMP-GPano:PoseHeadingDegrees^[135] direction in the middle of the image in degrees. N=0, E=90, S=180, W=270
CroppedWidth=-XMP-GPano:CroppedAreaImageWidthPixels^[8000] for full spheres the same as FullPanoWidth
CroppedHeight=-XMP-GPano:CroppedAreaImageHeightPixels^[4000] for full spheres the same as FullPanoHeight
FullPanoWidth=-XMP-GPano:FullPanoWidthPixels^[8000] width of image canvas
FullPanoHeight=-XMP-GPano:FullPanoHeightPixels^[4000] heigth of image canvas
CroppedLeft=-XMP-GPano:CroppedAreaLeftPixels^[0] within full sphere
CroppedTop=-XMP-GPano:CroppedAreaTopPixels^[0] within full sphere

Open the file with ExifToolGUI (Menu>Program>Workspace definition file>Load…). Open the Metadata panel and open the Workspace. You should see the following workspace:
JMatern_130914_ExifToolGui_1

As reference the next screenshot shows an already populated photo sphere:
JMatern_130914_ExifToolGui_2

3. ExifTool via command-line

First install the latest version of ExifTool by Phil Harvey for your operating system.

Start exiftool from the command-line with the following parameters:

-ProjectionType="equirectangular" -UsePanoramaViewer="True" -"PoseHeadingDegrees<$exif:GPSImgDirection" -"CroppedAreaImageWidthPixels<$ImageWidth" -"CroppedAreaImageHeightPixels<$ImageHeight" -"FullPanoWidthPixels<$ImageWidth" -"FullPanoHeightPixels<$ImageHeight" -CroppedAreaLeftPixels="0" -CroppedAreaTopPixels="0"

Of course you also have to add a filename. If you supply the filename of a panoramic image in equirectangular format, which covers the full sphere, you get a photo sphere with the same name of the original image.

If you create a batch file on the desktop of a Windows machine with the following content:

FOR %%A IN (%*) DO (
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Geo\GeoSetter\tools\exiftool.exe" -ProjectionType="equirectangular" -UsePanoramaViewer="True" -"PoseHeadingDegrees<$exif:GPSImgDirection" -"CroppedAreaImageWidthPixels<$ImageWidth" -"CroppedAreaImageHeightPixels<$ImageHeight" -"FullPanoWidthPixels<$ImageWidth" -"FullPanoHeightPixels<$ImageHeight" -CroppedAreaLeftPixels="0" -CroppedAreaTopPixels="0" %%A
)
PAUSE

Then you have a droplet on which you can drop an equirectangular panoramic image which covers the full sphere and it gets populated with the required fields to be accepted as a photo sphere. If your image supplies the GPS-heading it's also compliant with the requirements of Google-Maps.

4. Metadata panel and Photoshop

First you have to check the documentation of Adobes Custom File Info Panel to identify the proper location for the File Panels. On a Windows system running PS CC the files are located in

C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\XMP\Custom File Info Panels\4.0\panels

Create a directory named

photosphere

Create a file named

properties.xml

with the following content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!--
Copyright 2013 by Jürgen Matern (/author/juergen/)
 
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0
License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/).
 
In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under
the conditions that you appropriately attribute it and that you distribute
it only under a license identical to this one.
 
Photosphere File Info Panel (properties.xml)
 
This panel implements the specific XMP fields of Photospheres.
Additionally it displays additional fields of the image as read only fields.
-->
 
<xmp_definitions xmlns:ui="http://ns.adobe.com/xmp/fileinfo/ui/">
 
	<xmp_schema prefix="GPano" namespace="http://ns.google.com/photos/1.0/panorama/" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/Photosphere=Photosphere" description="$$$/Custom/GPano/Description/Photosphere=This schema displays the required properties for photospheres.">
		<xmp_property name="StitchingSoftware" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/StitchingSoftware=Stitching Software:" type="openchoice" ui:width="20%">
			<xmp_choice raw_value="PTGui Pro 9.1.8" label="PTGui Pro 9.1.8"/>
			<xmp_choice raw_value="PTGui 9.1.8" label="PTGui 9.1.8"/>
			<xmp_choice raw_value="Hugin" label="Hugin"/>
		</xmp_property>
		<xmp_property name="ProjectionType" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/ProjectionType=Pano Projection:" description="$$$/Custom/GPano/Description/ProjectionType=Currently Google applications only support equirectangular projection." type="closedchoice" ui:width="20%">
			<xmp_choice raw_value="equirectangular" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/equirectangular=equirectangular"/>
			<xmp_choice raw_value="" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/none=none specified"/>
		</xmp_property>
		<xmp_property name="UsePanoramaViewer" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/UsePanoramaViewer=Use Panorama Viewer:" type="boolean" />
		<xmp_property name="PoseHeadingDegrees" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/PoseHeadingDegrees=Heading (at center of image):" description="$$$/Custom/GPano/Description/PoseHeadingDegrees=This field is only mandatory for Google Maps." type="real" ui:width="15%"/>
		<xmp_property name="CroppedAreaImageWidthPixels" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/CroppedAreaImageWidthPixels=Cropped Area Image Width:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" ui:width="15%"/>
		<xmp_property name="CroppedAreaImageHeightPixels" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/CroppedAreaImageHeightPixels=Cropped Image Heigth:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" ui:width="15%"/>
		<xmp_property name="FullPanoWidthPixels" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/FullPanoWidthPixels=Full Pano Width:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" ui:width="15%"/>
		<xmp_property name="FullPanoHeightPixels" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/FullPanoHeightPixels=Full Pano Heigth:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" ui:width="15%"/>
		<xmp_property name="CroppedAreaLeftPixels" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/CroppedAreaLeftPixels=Cropped Pixels Left:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" ui:width="15%"/>
		<xmp_property name="CroppedAreaTopPixels" category="external" label="$$$/Custom/GPano/CroppedAreaTopPixels=Cropped Pixels Top:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" ui:width="15%"/>
	</xmp_schema>
	<xmp_schema prefix="exif" namespace="http://ns.adobe.com/exif/1.0/" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/ImageDimensions=Image Dimensions" description="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Description/IMageDimensions=This schema displays the image dimensions from the EXIF header.">
		<xmp_property name="PixelXDimension" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/PixelXDimension=Image Width:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" />
		<xmp_property name="PixelYDimension" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/PixelYDimension=Image Height:" type="integer" ui:format="{0} pixel" />
		<ui:separator/>
	</xmp_schema>
	<xmp_schema prefix="exif" namespace="http://ns.adobe.com/exif/1.0/" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSCoordinates=GPS coordinates" description="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Description/GPSCoordinates=This schema displays the GPS coordinates from the EXIF header.">
		<xmp_property name="GPSLongitude" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSLongitude=GPS longitude (camera):" type="text"/>
		<xmp_property name="GPSLatitude" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSLatitude=GPS latitude (camera):" type="text"/>
		<xmp_property name="GPSAltitude" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSAltitude=GPS altitude (camera):" type="text"/>
		<xmp_property name="GPSImgDirection" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSImgDirection=GPS image direction:" type="real"/>
		<xmp_property name="GPSDestLongitude" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSDestLongitude=GPS longitude (motif):" type="text"/>
		<xmp_property name="GPSDestLatitude" category="internal" label="$$$/Custom/EXIF/Fieldname/GPSDestLatitude=GPS latitude (motif):" type="text"/>
	</xmp_schema>
 
</xmp_definitions>

Create a second file named

manifest.xml

with the following content:

<!--
Copyright 2013 by Jürgen Matern (/author/juergen/)
 
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0
License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/).
 
In short: you are free to share and make derivative works of the file under
the conditions that you appropriately attribute it and that you distribute
it only under a license identical to this one.
 
Photosphere File Info Panel (manifest.xml)
-->
 
<xfi:fileinfo xmlns:xfi="http://ns.adobe.com/xmp/fileinfo/">
	<xfi:panels>
		<xfi:panel
			name = "Photosphere"
			label = "Photosphere"
			description = "Properties for Photospheres"  
			type = "generic"
			version = "1.0.5"
			panelLibrary = "generic"
			panelClass = "examples.panels.generic.GenericPanel"
			propertyDescriptionFile = "properties.xml"			
			localizationFile = "Photosphere"			
			modifyDate = "2013-08-25Z"
			visible="true">
		</xfi:panel>
	</xfi:panels>
</xfi:fileinfo>

Then open the file info dialog of Photoshop. When all the metadata is missing, the new dialog looks like this:
Custom file info panel within Photoshop CC, unpopulated
And the following screenshot shows the dialog, when the metadata fields are already populated.
Custom file info panel within Photoshop CC, populated

5. ExifMetaLrPlugin for Lightroom

First install the latest version of ExifTool by Phil Harvey for your operating system. Then install the latest version of ExifMetaLrPlugin. Configure the plugin to display the metadata. Unfortunately this solution is read only at the time of the writing of the article.

PanoTools Meeting 2013 Messina Sicily Second Impression

This years PanoTools Meeting took place in Messina, Italy. This panorama shows the meeting venue on the first day, short before the meeting started. The PanoTwins presented their talk about how to use spherical panoramas aka Photo Spheres in the Google universe. See the two posts here and here.


Geotag Icon Show on map
Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: NEX-6
Exposure Time (sec): 1/30
F-Number: 7.1
Focal Length (mm): 7.5
Lens: Walimex 7.5mm/F3.5
ISO: 200

PanoTools Meeting 2013 Messina Sicily First Impression

This years PanoTools Meeting took place in Messina, Italy. This panorama shows the meeting venue on the first day, short before the meeting started. The PanoTwins presented their talk about how to use spherical panoramas aka Photo Spheres in the Google universe. See the two posts here and here.


Geotag Icon Show on map
Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: NEX-6
Exposure Time (sec): 1/4
F-Number: 7.1
Focal Length (mm): 7.5
Lens: Walimex 7.5mm/F3.5
ISO: 100