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Regenerating 13 years of panoramas

It’s been a wonderful! Looking back at my earliest panoramas from 2006/2007 and regenerating them taught me a few things.

Evergreen

New technologies do not seem to last in the pano world. There was the Flashificator, Quicktime, Deval VR and Flash panos. We all know what happen. Security problems and all that, they were killed off. Getting users to simply download a plugin is a hassle now. Viewers want something that just-works. No plugins to download and install. Works on their phone, android, iPhones, tablets. It is important to use consortium supported technologies like HTML5 which is backed by the world’s biggest tech companies. Then again, who would have thought Flash will ever come to an end…

Data longevity

Data is more important than ever. I now rely heavily on FreeNAS to store all my stuffs after a good 5 years with Drobo. After moving to FreeNAS, I know what I have been missing out. Speed and running VMs off it. You can always output to the current technology if you have the raw images. Places don’t last at times. We missed out on the Tang Dynasty panoramas. The place is no longer around and has been tore down while some images are corrupted and can no longer be stitched.

Software

Programs that are used to create these panos are generally still around, PTGui, Pano2VR are 2 that are still frequently updated. That being said, we kept images that seemed corrupted. Maybe, just maybe, one day, technology will finally catch up and simple images repair will be simple with no nonsense on websites after websites that claim to be able to repair JPG, RAW that never work.

Time to take a break after updating the panoramas over a whole month.

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News Tech

Death of QTVR and DevalVR

Plugins were the back bone of the Internet 10 maybe 20 years ago. Browsers display only the most basic of things. Javascript, HTML and images. That was it. If you need to view anything fancy, videos embedded on webpages, Java, Flash and even flash games or in our case, panoramas, you simply had to download a plugin.

Then the ease of displaying of embedded videos, youtube gone mainstream, Flash problems and there were many many problems with Flash. HTML5 did come and eased a lot of the hassle…

Much of the panoramas output in 2007 to 2010 here were in Qucktime VR or Deval VR. These 2 technologies have since been dead. QTVR since version 7, anything after that do not support VR. The exported .mov file still works for all panoramas but not many people to no one actually, will bother download a separate plugin, install it to view anything on the web now. Clients and the general public expect things to just work when loaded without separate software.

Below is one of the QTVR output we have of Tang Dynasty taken back in 2007. The place in Taman Jurong, Singapore, has since closed down.

HTML5 is as of now, 2020. The best option on mobile, iphone, ipads, tablets, android, PC, Mac, Windows, you name it. it just works. With a big consortium backed by the biggest names there is Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft), the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group. Hope this last another decade before something new comes along. We chose not to be re-output anything that is before 2010 and left them as if, in QTVR and DevalVR format on this website. It is sad to see many sites have chose to simply closed down over the many years doing panoramas and new sites do not seem to be springing up fast enough. For now, we continue doing what we love doing and see how technologies continue to evolve doing virtual tours and panoramas.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

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News

Flash no more.

Here’s why we are moving away from Flash. Hold on while we head back more than 10 years and regenerate most of the panos into HTML5. You can see some 2007-2010 ones are completed.