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The Original World Wide Panorama Event
March 20, 2004



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decoA VR panorama (VR for virtual reality) is a specially created computer image that goes all the way around the viewer. It is a revolutionary way to document a particular place and time - the next best thing to being there.

VR panoramas are interactive. Use the mouse to rotate the panorama, use Shift and Control to zoom in and out.
On Saturday, March 20, more than 180 photographers in 40 countries around the world celebrated the Equinox by creating VR panoramas. This site showcases the results of their efforts.

History of the Idea - The Wrinkle In Time

The idea began back in December of 1997, when Robert Abbett (Rabbett) in Hawaii suggested a simultaneous VR shoot. It was very spontaneous, the whole thing got organized in a couple of weeks. We all shot at the same exact moment - late evening in Europe, middle of the day in the U.S., morning in Hawaii, before dawn in Australia. It was a fascinating snapshot of the world, offered up by the interesting people who made up the VR community back then (we were almost all basically beginners).

Rabbett named his event The Wrinkle in Time. The first event fortuitously occurred on the Winter Solstice, so he organized another for the next big date on the natural calendar, the Spring Equinox. The second Wrinkle was more organized, but just as much fun.

There were more Wrinkles (Caroling Geary documents a total of 13), culminating in the Millenium Wrinkle, shot on January 1, 2000. Many thanks to Rabbett for the great idea and all the effort that went into the series of Wrinkles he organized.


Why Do It Again?
by Don Bain

Virtual reality photography (QTVR and similar) has been around for about nine years now. Collectively we have published tens of thousands of wonderful images on web sites. Yet I am constantly meeting people who have never seen a VR panorama before. They are always impressed with what I show them, often wildly enthusiastic. 

So we need to get the word out - this is important work! Immersive imagery is virtual travel, real geography, genuine art, and great entertainment. It is a glimpse into other people's lives, a look around in places we have never been and may never go. It can be unique personal views of the world or dispassionate photojournalism. It deserves to be seen by more people. 

Back at the time of the original Wrinkle the VR photography world was smaller. We almost all used the same computer (Mac), software (from Apple), and communicated through the same list (quicktime-vr@lists.apple.com). Now the community is fragmented into many specialties and technical varieties: pros and hobbyists and newbies, commercial and educational, PanoTools and Stitcher and QTVRAS (and many others). It has been nice to get together again, just for the love of creating striking and meaningful VR images. 

Aside from the community of producers, there are the consumers, the huge numbers of people who enjoy VR images on the web and on CD's. As an educator myself, I particularly value panoramas for the way they can show us people and places around the world, their diversity and commonality. I remember images from the first few Wrinkles that included a cozy dinner table in Scandinavia, Rabbett's favorite beach in Hawaii, the pre-dawn darkness in Singapore, even inside a refrigerator! 

This World Wide Panorama web site is a very democratic statement - anyone who wanted to participate and managed to generate a useable panorama was included. This was part of the vitality and human interest of the early Wrinkle in Time projects. Many of the leading professional VR photographers also participated in the World Wide Panorama, contributing images of consumate craft and artistry.
All images are copyright by the individual photographers. Use in any way other than viewing on this web site is prohibited unless permission is obtained from the relevant photographer.
All images and panoramas are NOT in public domain, unless stated otherwise by the contributor! The individual photographers retain their rights to their works. Any inquiries need to be sent to the individual participants. The WWP admin team does not provide contact information beyond what has been made public by the participants on their profile pages.


The overall site is copyright by the World Wide Panorama Foundation, a California Public Benefit Corporation.

The World Wide Panorama events were originally sponsored by the Geography Computing Facility at the University of California Berkeley, and hosted by The Geo-Images Project. The WWP is now run by the World Wide Panorama Foundation, a California Public Benefit Corporation.
This is a non-commercial project, done simply to create enthusiasm for VR photography, and provide an outlet for our collective creativity.

The World Wide Panorama was founded by Don Bain and Landis Bennett. Interactive maps and database programming by Markus Altendorff. Logo and region graphics by Kat Bennett. Google Earth management by Thomas Rauscher.

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