Earlier this summer, Google Maps launched a product called “Views” — a global photographer community featuring some of the best panoramic photos worldwide. Google calls these images “photo spheres”, their new and catchy phrase for panoramic photos. This new product really seems to support the Google brand as most of the images I’ve seen were taken with Android devices. However, for panographers such as myself that take higher quality images on a DSLR, Google has provided a workaround solution so that I can share my photos as well.
So far my social experience on Views has been utterly delightful. I’ve met so many other panographers around the world and when I view their work, it’s like a heightened form of armchair travel.
However one thing I’ve noticed is that (at least to me) photo spheres appear better on the Chrome browser rather than my default Safari and I’m not sure quite why. Could it be a frenemy thing? I don’t know for sure but my best guess is “yes”. So if you’re viewing a photo sphere on your Mac laptop or desktop, I recommend using the Chrome or Firefox browser for an optimum viewing experience.
Above is an image of Universal Studios Hollywood that was taken in the winter of last year. Universal Studios is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in use. It was also one of the first to offer tours to the public of the real sound stages and sets.
Universal is noteworthy in my family history as my late father got his “break” in Hollywood as a set designer on the original Battlestar Gallactica which was the first of many productions for him at the studios. He went on to be a respected art director in Tim Burton’s Big Fish. It’s also worth mentioning I spent a summer as a tour guide there during my teens and it was so much fun.
Update March 2016: This post originally featured a virtual tour of Universal Studios City Walk using the embed codes of Google Maps Views. The embeds no longer work and are considered “mix content” for Bloggers’ latest security update “HTTPS”. This basically means the two Google products don’t work well together. So I’ve updated this post to reflect a working solution.