I have been taking panorama photographs for several years now. I started with just a regular camera and tripod and found it very difficult and time consuming to stitch the photos together into a 360 spherical panorama. Most panos I took would need 40-50 photos to ensure I captured the complete 360 sphere.
I've since moved up to professional gear including a digital SLR, Fish-eye lens, specialized tripod and pano head. I can now take a complete pano in 8 shots (6 around, one up and one down). There are a number of tools and techniques available to stitch and view panoramas. Currently the most popular and practical method for presenting 360 panorama images is through a Adobe Flash interface in a web browser. Apple Quick Time movies was an earlier method for viewing the spherical panoramas. There are also stand alone applications available for viewing panoramas on your local computer. Being a web designer I enjoy the technical aspects of stitching the photos and then presenting them on the web as single panoramas or in tours that link 360 images together. My intention has always been to create a site to showcase all of my work and maybe even the work of others. I do have some of them published on my personal and business websites. But, due to time restraints and other priorities I've yet to find the time to create a site dedicated to the subject so recently I joined a site that does exactly that. 360Cities.Net is the 360 equivalent to photo sharing sites like Flickr or Panoramio. One of the things that attracted me to 360Cities is their relationship with Google Earth. Selected panoramas posted on 360Cities.Net are now included in the default image layer on Google Earth. Since I am selling virtual tours as part of my web design business, I thought it would be great exposure if I could get some of my 360 images on Google Earth. Google Earth displays the images using the same method they use for their Street View feature.
Well, I am happy to report that all 14 of the panoramas I have posted to 360Cities are now included in Google Earth photo layer. I have 100's more yet to post. Here is a link to the Google Earth KMZ file for my photos. I hope you enjoy exploring the world in 360 as much as I do.
http://www.360cities.net/ge_kml/author/greatwebs.kml (You'll need Google Earth to view this file)
Here is my profile on 360Cities.Net http://www.360cities.net/profile/greatwebs
If you are interested in having a custom 360 panoramic photograph or tour created please contact me. I'll be happy to send you additional links for tours I have created.