Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Full Screen Spherical Panoramas

Posted by larrylohrman on April 25, 2006

I’ve been talking to a number of people in the last few months about their use of virtual tours. I’ve also been trying to decide what the next step should be for the virtual tours that I create myself.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that virtual tours are an opportunity to use full screen images and to go above and beyond what’s available on MLS sites and all the public real estate sites. There are all kinds of technology available for the web that can go beyond the small photos and relatively mundane marketing that is used by most sites. Of all the virtual tours I’ve experimented with in the last few years the most popular with buyers and sellers by far are full screen spherical (also called cubic) QuickTime panoramas. There is nothing like floating in the center of a room and looking in any direction you want.

There are currently three technologies that allow presentation of full screen immersive spherical images:

  1. QuickTime VR by Apple
  2. SPI-V by Aldo Hoeben which is based on Shockwave
  3. ImmerVision by the company of the same name based on JAVA

There are downsides to each one of these technologies based on the fact that not all PCs have the required software installed and the relative difficulties of users downloading what they need to view the spherical panoramas. However, there are enough people with the required software that I think it is well worth using full screen spherical panoramas.


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