Happy new year!

Now that the celebrations are over, time to look over what's new. Things have been pretty quiet in the last months. There's another large album of Oxford - Somerville Hall, there's a cute mountainous panorama, and I made a small proof of concept with aerial images for a conference.

New anonymous albums

Two recent albums by anonymous contributors: the church of San Pedro in Almeria, Spain, juxtaposed with what looks like historical images of the same location; and Abu Simbel, Egypt. Thanks, whoever you are!

Related project: Virtual Geology Field Trips

Andrew Currier of Bowdoin College in Brunswick just wrote me an email to show the prototype of his project based on OpenPhotoVR: interactive virtual field trips for studying geology. From what I see, it's a modified version of my source, mashed up with Google Maps, and with new advanced features like automatically adding links between images based on EXIF metadata in the jpegs. Pretty awesome work, these ideas are worth stealing!

New album: Savior on the Blood

New album of a famous cathedral in St. Petersburg, photographed by Artem and Maria Dorofeeva specially for OpenPhotoVR. Thanks! The pics are very detailed, don't forget to zoom in and check the wall ornaments.

New album: KunstHausWien

Arts museum in Vienna designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, my other favourite architect beside Antoni Gaudi. An outspoken apologist of the "Window Right" that everyone should be allowed to reach out of their window and hand-paint the outside wall, he's got lots of other weird buildings that people don't photograph as much as they really should.

New album: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

"Greetings from Sioux Falls" - a historical fly-through for Sioux Falls, South Dakota using photographs and postcards.

Almost all the images are drawn from GreetingsfromSiouxFalls.com.

New album: Dakota Building in Central Park, NY

Another huge mishmash of historical photographs and drawings from the same person who created the last album, Chris Wild. Good work! And it heavily features John Lennon.

New album: historical photos of Oxford

Just like in old times, we're getting great contributors. A curious new album just appeared that juxtaposes early 20th century photos of Oxford, its modern photographs and even some paintings. Thank you! Added to right sidebar.

...welcome back

The move took quite a bit longer than expected, but at last everything seems to be working! Now I'm hosting with friends rather than a commercial webhost.

moving again...

Creation of new albums will likely not work sometime during the next week, as the site will be moving to another server again.

New album: Cologne Cathedral

This new album is only just started, because it's so hard to find good overlapping overview shots for it.

New album: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn

Today's mini-album (only 8 photographs) is of this beautiful Russian Orthodox cathedral in Estonia, which was once part of the Russian Empire.

New album: Casa Mila, Barcelona

A building by Antoni Gaudi, most of whose other work is already uploaded here. This new album is unfinished: I have a decent overview of the building's exterior, but the eye-catching rooftop structures are pretty hard to stitch.

UPDATE: okay, here they are. I'm actually pretty proud of this particular stitching job.

New album: Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Another day, another gorgeous Asian building. This is the inner courtyard of the mosque - I couldn't find enough open-licensed images to cover the outer entrance which is also beautiful.

New album: Hanging Temple, Shanxi

Just uploaded a tiny album of a Chinese monastery built into a cliffside. Asian architecture is fascinating, but I know almost nothing about it. Now wondering what place to upload next.

Tutorial on creating an album: Taj Mahal

I just finished building a new album of the Taj Mahal, and wish to describe the process.

After choosing an interesting place to add, I typically search Flickr for CC-licensed images of that place. In this case we quickly notice that everybody photographs the Taj Mahal in the exact same way. (The same problem plagues the Photosynth and Panoramio treatments too: no matter how long you click, all you see is the same straight frontal overview shot under different lighting conditions.) I think it's very important to have diverse pictures — each one should contain something new that's unavailable in the others, so that together they create a vivid impression of the place. So I carefully chose three overviews of the Taj Mahal from different angles, stitched them together and added midrange and detail shots to highlight the wonderful decor of the walls.

The completed album contains seventeen interlinked images and took about three hours to build. It may be expanded in the future if a good image set turns up, as has happened with Sagrada Familia and the Notre Dame where people actually emailed me their photo archives to add to the albums.

New design launched

After a year of inaction I saw in the logs that people just won't stop visiting my tiny website despite the intense competition from Microsoft and Google, even though half the time it was blocked due to late hosting payments :-) So it's time for a redesign!

The viewer for albums is now totally full-screen. If you also full-screen your browser to hide the chrome, the effect is quite striking.

A separate album editor page has been developed at last. It shows a complete list of all images uploaded into your album, so no more getting lost in the editing labyrinth.

Seeing as people mostly create albums of their personal living rooms, offices, pretty girls and other stuff that I don't feel comfortable publishing to the world, and additionally seeing that my wonderful hosting provider ran some random deletions that ruined a lot of the uploads, I made the "featured albums" list much shorter and in picture form; you can see it on the right.

Oh, and the front page now has a new Drupal-based blog, so now you can comment and other visitors will hear you.