Commons:Project to create spherical panoramas of important monuments

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This page is a proposal for a specialized photography project in a geography area to be determined and planned for early sommer 2015 (june-July). Both, (Commons) photographers and Wikimedia chapters are asked to contribute in this project.


  • Illustrate important monuments in Wikimedia projects (esp. Wikipedia) with the most interactive experience for the viewer: spherical panoramas.


  • Create a pool of ressources to incentivate the improvement of the available tooling (see an example of Dschwen's 360 panoramic viewer) for viewing this kind of media in the Wikimedia projects.
  • Illustrate important monuments in the most interactive way for the viewer with a free license
  • Participate in WLM 2015 in the participating countries.

What are spherical panoramas[edit]

Spherical are images that shoul a view in a comprehensive way from a fixed point and are made out of several images. The minimal amount of images to create a spherical panorama is 3 using a fisheye lens that covers 180 degrees. The maximal amount of pictures has not actual limit. The more images, the more detail, but also the more work, both, during capturing and during post-processing.

When photographing interiors it is very likely that one exposure of the whole sphere is not enough and therefore each spot has to be photographed 3 or even 5 times to increase the dynamic range. This will of course increase the amount of needed pictures proportionally.

Delimitation with "normal" panoramas[edit]

Example of 4 frames stitched horizontally.
3 columns and 4 rows, 12 frames in total, stitched together.
Full panorama (view it here), the ring is complete but floor and sky are missing to achieve a spherical panorama.
Example of (full) spherical panorama (view it here). This is the kind of photography we focus on in this project.
This IS NOT the kind of photography we are focusing on.

Category: The most frequent panoramas here in Commons are the result of stitching a few frames horizontally, vertically or both, horizontally and vertically. If an horizontal panorama covers all 360 degrees it is called a full panorama. And if a series full panoramas are stitched together from the floor to the top then the result is a spherical panorama.

Please, don't mix up the spherical panoramas this project is about with those pictures, sometimes referred to by the same name, and where the result looks like a planet (These are sometimes called "polar panoramas" (after the filter-type in Photoshop), and are related to stereographic projection).

Subjects to be photographed[edit]

  • Still open, it depends on the supporting Wikimedia chapters and arrangement of photographers in their geography.

Project management[edit]


General tasks[edit]

  • Look for both, interested photographers and the corresponding chapters
  • Establish criteria to determine the most important monuments in the participating countries that are set as target


  • Reserve or apply for the budget to perform the project.
  • Make a schedule for each place.
  • Get in touch with the monument responsible to clear the photography session.
  • Travel arrangement and hotel booking, if necessary.


  • Travel according to schedule and perform the photography sessions
  • Process the images
  • Upload the images during September (WLM)


Ideally each team is based of 2 people with 2 full equipments. Ideally one experienced and one no so experienced photopgrapher for this kind of photography. In this way the pictures can be taken in parallel in different spots of the monument, there is a backup for equipment and is more fun!

Needed equipment per team[edit]

  • Vehicle to move around
  • 2 professional or semiprofessional camera bodies
  • High quality lenses (between 15-30 mm)
  • 2 tripods
  • 2 panoramic heads
  • Software to proecess the images (PTGui, Hugin, Photomatrix,...)


The idea is to find both, photographers and chapters in the same geographical area that would be interested in supporting this initiative.


let's do some more detailed planning and pointing out the chapter you are in.

  • Poco2 10:25, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Colin (talk) 11:53, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • --DXR (talk) 16:17, 18 December 2014 (UTC) Not fully convinced yet, but if this can get us access to special places I'm in.
  • I've got the equipment and experience, but as per DXR, would need to be convinced that we can integrate the images properly into Commons/Wikipedia. Diliff (talk) 19:49, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
  • --Michael Kramer (talk) 09:42, 21 December 2014 (UTC) for german speaking area and Europe like 360x180 LTU-Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany, using QuickTime or hopefully later on like on the right side "Museum Haus Hövener"
Museum Haus Hövener, Brilon, Germany
  • --MatthiasKabel (talk) 09:27, 1 January 2015 (UTC) I've the equipment but sometimes it is difficult to get access with a tripod for some locations. So perhaps this could help.
  • I've got equipment, experience and already produced some examples for Wikipedia, too. But imo the major problem with spherical panoramas here is, not to create them, but to display them. As long as there is no web-standard-based panorama-viewer build into MediaWiki (the Java-based Player linked above is no substitute for that), these picture are of little help for the project and will be kicked out of the articles again and again (Totally distored! No encyclopedic use!) // Martin K. (talk) 18:15, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Yeah, that has already been mentioned. It's already an issue that has been discussed on the talk page, and one of the points made in the 'motivation' section above. There, it suggests that a body of work would create the 'incentive' to improve our panorama display tools. I don't think anyone is going to be particularly motivated to shoot 360x180 panoramas on the assumption that it might one day be viewable on Wikipedia. It would be nice if we could get someone in the tech team of Wikimedia involved who has the expertise to code a modern and robust viewer. Until we know if it is possible, I don't really see this project going anywhere, but I really don't have any contacts or know where to start. Just my opinion. Diliff (talk) 00:35, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Be sure to remind me when the time comes, I'm not very good at remembering these kinds of things... -- King of ♠ 03:45, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
  • --The Photographer (talk) 23:08, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm very interesting in this project. You can have my support!! And you can view a spherephoto from Commons, in Mediawiki environment, at using For then, its needed to add $wgRawHtml = true; at LocalSettings.php to permit html and ifram insert. Maybe, one day this work here.

<html> <iframe src="" width=600 height=450>Por alguna razón, su navegador no acepta iframe</iframe>
Una esferofoto de <a href="">Commons</a> en entorno MediaWiki </html>
En segunda fila, pasillo, el autor

--Galopax (talk) 11:35, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

  • You?


--Raimund Liebert (WMAT) (talk) 14:41, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Yours?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]