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  Virtual Reality Panoramas
Some websites now include 360 or panoramic views of places in the world.  (VR is also a term that is used to describe videos that walk you through places such as museums and hotels.)  When viewing a VR panorama picture, you have control over the viewer and can pan around the picture 360 in either direction as well as pan up and down.  Some viewers also let you zoom in and out of the scene and, of course, you can stop the motion at any time.

When a website has VR panoramic pictures, you will need to download and use the appropriate software to show the images.  Although Apple's QuickTime VR (QTVR) and IPIX are two of the most popular VR formats, there are other formats that you may encounter as well. You will normally be prompted to download the necessary software at the time you try to view a VR panorama picture if you don't have the necessary viewer.

To download some of the free VR Panorama viewers, go to our Web Multimedia page.
 

360
View

Virtual Paris

  We have added links to VR panoramic pictures for many of the cities and places in our World Links section. 
If present, you will see it as shown here.  Just click on the name to go to the VR panoramic website.

Searching for VR pictures on the web.  To search for VR pictures for a place in the world, enter the name of the place + one or more words that indicate VR pictures. You may have to try different words to get good results. Here are some of the terms that are commonly used: Virtual Reality, VR, VR panoramic, VR panoramas, 360 degree pictures, 360 interactive and virtual tours, virtual panoramic tours, virtual reality tours, and VR tours:

Example search results using different VR terms:

1  Rome virtual tours Best results - the first few hits are excellent virtual tours of Rome - (2.1 million hits)
2  Rome Virtual Reality Still good results - the first few hits are excellent virtual tours of Rome - (1.7 million hits)
3  Rome VR panoramas Still good results - the first few hits similar to #1 search. (0.4 million hits)
4  Rome 360 degree pictures Not good results - missing the best websites that were present in #1 and #2 (0.9 million hits)
5  Rome 360 interactive Not good results - missing the best websites that were present in #1 and #2. Also many of the first hits were hotel 360 pictures (1.5 million hits)

Panoramic Travel Galleries.  Here is a list of some of the websites we have found that have VR panoramic pictures of the world.  If you encounter a website in a language other than your own, try the free Google Translation service. They may have a translation between the other language and yours. If so, all you do is just paste the URL of the web page into their translation box and click Translate.  It will also continue to translate any pages you go to within that website.

Hey, the panoramic picture is in black and white and blurry. What happened?  Relax, you will notice that if you don't have a high speed connection like DSL.  While it is downloading the 360 degree color picture, your browser will usually display the initial image sent in black and white (monochrome) and it will be blurry. Eventually sections in color, and in focus, will appear and eventually you will have a complete panoramic picture you can move around. Just left-click your mouse and hold the button down once the full color picture is displayed and then move your mouse in the direction you want to go.

Click Here for Amazon.com

Amazon.com has a few of the VR panorama software and DVD products offered by some of the websites shown below.  Amazon.com hasn't catalogued VR products very well. Here are the best search results we found.  

Virtual Visits
Virtual Tours

Four Chambers Studio

 *** exceptional website
360TravelGuide.com *** - The world's largest free access panoramic image library virtual tours, interactive maps, travel guides & more.  Select a country, then a location and then a virtual tour. They have 360 panoramic tours from all over the world.

360Parks.com.  They have online 360 degree panorama pictures of U.S. parks from their collection of CD-ROMs they sell.  This includes a full-screen-viewing option.

Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas.  Excellent worldwide VR tours.

Don Bain's Virtual Guidebooks*** Excellent and extensive VR panoramas for the Western United States, Alaska and the western provinces of Canada. You'll also like the easy-to-use interface. Well-done Don!

Destination360.  Excellent virtual tours around the world.

Immersion360.  This is an excellent French Virtual Tour website. The link will take you to the Google translation of their Panoramas 360 page into English.
 
PanoGraph.hu - VR panoramas made by Hungarian Tamas D.Varga. The site is in English.

Panorama 360 - This is a personal Spanish website with a QTVR and java panorama collection of places in Spain. The link will take you to the Google translation of their home page into English.

Panoramic Earth *** - They have combined a Google map with 360 panoramic photographs of places on the map for a country plus they include travel information. Worldwide coverage. Well Done! 

Panoramas.dk - Excellent and comprehensive. Links to other websites around the world with VR panoramas.

The Youth Online Club. A short list of interesting VR tours around the world.

Panoramics Worldwide - Offers panoramic pictures from many countries around the world. 

VRWay - Offers Quicktime VR panoramic images from Europe, Thailand, and the United States.

World in Motion VR - Try their CubicVR and MotionVR Samples. You can also see demonstrations of their DVD collections which you can buy.
 

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