Water - A World Wide Panorama
Click on the globe below... or choose the random panorama
Lists of panoramas for this event:
Download data files for popular world viewers:
- Best of 2014, January 1st — December 31st, 2014
- Ruins, July 1 - September 30, 2014
- Work, June 19-29, 2014
- Decade, March 15-23, 2014
- Best of 2013, January 1st — December 31st, 2013
- Mortality, September 19-29, 2013
- Machines, June 13-23, 2013
- Scale, March 14–24, 2013
- Best Of 2012, January 1st — December 31st, 2012
- Necessity, Sept. 15–23, 2012
- Heritage, June 15–24, 2012
- Paths, March 16-25, 2012
- Culture, January 1st 2012 - December 31st, 2013
- Best Of 2011, December 16th – 31st, 2011
- History, September 16-25, 2011
- Family, June 16–27, 2011
- Limits, March 18-27, 2011
- International Year of Forests, January 1st, 2011 - December 31st, 2013
- Best Of 2010, January 1st - December 30th, 2010
- Crossroads, September 18-26, 2010
- Forgotten Places, June 19–27, 2010
- Food, March 18-28, 2010
- Best Of 2009, January 1st - December 30th, 2009
- Performing Arts, September 17-22, 2009
- Time, June 18-22, 2009
- Diversity, March 18—23, 2009
- Best Of 2008, January 1st - December 30th, 2008
- Color, September 18-23, 2008
- Elevation, June 18-22, 2008
- Beginnings, March 19-23, 2008
- Wrinkle Tribute, December Solstice - 0608 UT, 22 December 2007 +/- 12 h
- Best of 2007, January 1st - December 28th, 2007
- Sustenance, September 19-23, 2007
- Community, June 15-21, 2007
- Atmosphere, March 20-25, 2007
- Best of 2006, January 1st - December 31st, 2006
- Transportation, September 20-24, 2006
- Gardens, June 20-25, 2006
- Borders, March 15–21, 2006
- Best of 2005, January 1st - December 31st, 2005
- Energy, September 21–25, 2005
- Marketplace, March 17–20, 2005
- Sanctuary, December 17-21, 2004
- Bridges, September, 2004
- World Heritage, June, 2004
- The Original WWP, March 20, 2004
Go to the WWP Home Page
A 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
VR panoramas are interactive. Use the mouse to rotate the panorama, use
Shift and Control to zoom in and out.
During the week of the Solstice (June 21) over two hundred and fifty photographers created VR panoramas with the theme of water.
About the Theme - Water
by G. Donald Bain
Water is essential to life, and this is the water planet, the blue marble of oceans and clouds. 70% of the surface of the earth is covered with water, and two thirds of a human body is water. We evolved with water and have built our world around water.
Water as a theme for VR photography is almost too broad - most landscapes and city scenes will probably include it in some form. The challenge is to feature water, to somehow focus the viewers' attention on the unique characteristics of water and its significance in the scene.
Water has some amazing properties. It is usually an incompressible liquid, relatively heavy, transparent, without taste or smell. Yet it transforms to a solid or a gas with a few degrees change in temperature, releasing or capturing energy as it does so. We live with water in all three states.
Weather and climate are largely manifestations of water in its various states - snow, ice, rain, and water vapor. We notice this and comment on it daily - rain or shine, snow, clouds, humidity. As the climate changes through the 21st century humankind will have to adapt to changes in the water regime - it will be drier many places, wetter in some. Sea level will rise and threaten coastal areas, including many major cities.
Water is so important that many of the world's greatest works of engineering revolve around it. Canals have been built to harness water for transport, bridges so we can cross water from land to land, ships so we can travel over the seas and submarines to go beneath the surface. Great cities have huge systems for importing high quality water from far away. Some of the world's richest agricultural land is dependent on irrigation water from deep wells or aqueducts. Fresh water is impounded by dams large and small, sea-water is excluded from the lowlands by systems of dikes. We make electricity from falling water and the surging of the tides, as well as the expansion of steam superheated by fossil fuel or nuclear fission.
Water has been the subject of much invention: ice machines and espresso makers, kidney dialysis, the water closet (toilet), humidifiers and dehumidifiers, the whistling kettle, steam heat, lawn sprinklers, fire hoses, whirlpool baths and the automated car-wash. Fuel cells offer great hope for pollution-free energy, combining hydrogen and oxygen to make water, releasing energy in the process.
We spend vast amounts of effort and energy treating water. First, it is purified to drinking standards then treated with chlorine and sometimes fluoride. Eventually the same water as sewage is filtered and broken down organically to be safely released (or not). Inadequate water treatment remains a problem in many parts of the world.
Recreation is often synonymous with water: a vacation at the lake or the beach, a trip by cruise ship or canal-boat, hot springs, swimming pools, ice rinks, water slides, sailboats, powerboats, houseboats. We flock to famous waterfalls such as Niagara and Yosemite. We visit aquariums and learn to scuba dive so we can experience life within the water.
Water mixes well and holds other chemicals in solution. We use it daily in alcoholic beverages, carbonated drinks, herbal infusions such as tea and coffee, the weak saline solution that protects our eyes, the strong saline solution that fills the oceans, the complex mixture of solutes and cells that constitutes blood, water with surfactants (soap), water with solvents. We ship water with unique mineral traces around the world - Perrier water is served at restaurants in Tahiti, nearly antipodal to its source.
Water gains in importance with both scarcity and superabundance. Life in the desert centers around availability of water, from the remote water-hole to densely settled oases. The roots of civilization are tied to exotic rivers (those that flow from wet areas through dry areas) in Mesopotamia and Egypt. But settlements have been washed away by floods, and in the next century some low lying countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans may completely disappear as sea level rises.
Architects create fountains and reflecting pools, gardeners utilize water in ponds and streams. Fountains alone could be used to characterize world cultures and environments. From the Taj Mahal to Kyoto, the Alhambra to Versailles, neighborhood parks to Las Vegas, water is a major element in the built environment. In the dry streambed of a Zen garden water is implicit, we supply it mentally.
Finally, consider the absolutely most basic visual elements - water and light. Water as vapor and droplets makes clouds and rainbows. Liquid water can transmit like glass, reflect like a mirror, filter light to become green or blue. Solid water can be snow crystals, clear ice, or the blue ice of glaciers. Capturing the intrinsic beauty of water itself might be the greatest photographic challenge of all.
|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.