What's an Equirectangular image?
So, you’ve got an idea for a really great immersive virtual tour, and you’re all set to jump in and launch Tour It. That’s excellent!
You upload your first panorama and things don’t look quite right. There’s a black void above and below the photo. What could have gone wrong? Not to worry! It’s not an error, but the type of image you’ve uploaded.
This blog post will discuss the differences between two types of “panoramas” and help you select the right kind of imagery to tell your story.
Panoramic vs Equirectangular
You don’t have to be a photography nerd to know what a panoramic image is. And if you ARE a photography nerd – cool! You’ll probably have this part down pat.
In short, when you build your tour, you’ll want to ensure you’re selecting equirectangular images. These are sometimes referred to as 360-degree images, spherical panoramas, or photospheres. Either way, as you’ll see below, these are the preferred image type when building a virtual tour in Tour It.
What’s the Difference?
If you examine the two images below, both taken from actual tours created in Tour It, you should notice how the panoramic image has two missing sections - a “hole” on the top and bottom.
Compare that to the equirectangular image, and you should see that it has no missing pieces; the “holes” at top and bottom feature more of the scenery. These equirectangular images are considered “more complete.”
Ok, but why do I NEED to use equirectangular images?
That’s a fair question! While it’s true that Tour It *can* work with panoramic imagery, we HIGHLY recommend equirectangular pics for a few reasons:
- Your audience will have a more immersive experience and be more connected to “place.”
- There’s more real estate available for you to place hotspots for exploration by your audience.
- And, if we’re being honest - it just looks better!
If you’re planning to visit the location to capture the imagery (rather than utilizing existing images), you can typically pick one up for a couple of hundred dollars. If finances are an issue, we have good news! We have cameras specially designed to capture equirectangular images and the even better news is, we’re happy to loan one to you if you need it! You can connect with us here and inquire about the camera loan program.
This media development resource is an excellent guide to help you through some of the nuances of Tour it. You’ll find image size limitations, where to find certain media, and even tips on how to capture images for your tour.
Hopefully this answers some of your questions on images. If you still feel a little stuck, you can always connect with us using the Contact Us form or check us out on social media!