Edinburgh Web Development

Using iPhone panorama photos on your website

Quickly add virtual tours to your site

by Iain Wilson

8 February 2014

The latest iPhone 5 comes with a really neat facility that lets you take a 'panoramic' photo of any scene.

panorama photo

A panoramic photo is just a wide picture of a scene which couldn't normally be captured in a single photo.  

In the old days, you had to take a load of photos then stitch them together using a photo editor or special software.  

These days, with an iPhone ( Sony, LG, Google and other manufacturers also make smartphones with a panoramic photo capability) you can generate a panoramic photo just by pressing the button and rotating your phone around the scene until you've gone a whole 360°, or until you've captured as much as you wanted.

For example, the panoramic photo above was made a few years ago by taking dozens of photos of the room.  They were then manually stitched together, and it took several hours of editing.  Now, a similar photo could be taken on an iPhone in seconds.

Great, eh? But what can you do with it? Well, you could print it and frame it like any photo, but nowadays, it's not hard to make a virtual photo tour of a panorama that you can put on a website.  Your visitors can pan around the tour, stopping wherever they find something that interests.

Back in the day, special browser plug-in software was often needed to do these tours, but these days Javascript and Jquery make it pretty easy and inexpensive to produce basic tours.

It's great for showing hotel rooms, properties for sale, restaurants, the vista from your holiday home - you name it.  

The photo above is used to show the conservatory at Scottish Veterans Residences - a charity that provides residential accomodation to ex-service men and women.  Click on the picture below to see the virtual tour in action.

SVR virtual tour 

Can you think of how this could be used to show off an aspect of your business on your website?  All you need is an iPhone 5, and a little Javascript coding.

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