I’ve probably mentioned it before, but one of the many services we offer here at Three Steps Ahead is the creation of “PictureBubbles°,” our brand name for interactive, spherical panoramic photographs. (Say that three times fast.) Creating the full 360° by 180° panoramic photographs is only half the battle (or half the fun, really); where the panos really shine are in the context of a complete virtual tour of an environment. These tours allow us to leverage interactive web technology, most notably Adobe Flash, as we create photographic experiences that tell a story.
Over the past year we had the opportunity to develop such an experience for New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. The school’s home base was recently renovated and received LEED Gold Certification for the environmentally-friendly practices used in the planning and construction of the new floors. After photographing the spaces and stitching everything together, we created a website and tour interface that really ties the room together1. A visitor need only click on a “hotspot” to bring up a sticky-note with more information about the feature underneath.
I have had mixed feelings about Flash in the past—it’s a technology that can easily be misused or abused, but its richness now permits just about everything to be done through a web browser. Thanks to Flash-based panorama / virtual tour software, we’re able to create completely custom interactive hotspots that make a panorama more than just a picture. With text, images, animation, sound, and video, the possibilities are pretty much limitless. But for the sake of accessibility and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we also make sure to provide much of the same content in an HTML-based context.
- To quote The Big Lebowski. [↩]