A 360º, or spherical panorama is created by stiching together a number of photographs taken in 360º rotation. A special tripod mount is needed to ensure perfect alignment of the component images.
The smallest number of shots needed to achieve a 360º photo is 3 using a full circular fisheye lens. Higher resolution is achieved using a greater number of shots with longer focal length lenses. Regardless of the number of shots, the final image must be stitched together using software to create an 'equirectangular projection' (seen at the bottom of the picture, right). This is then edited in photoshop where final retouching is done.
The completed image can be viewed in an online player via a web browser. The effect is of viewing a scene from a single standpoint with rotation of 360º and 90º up and down. The viewer can control rotational and zoom movement using either mouse or keyboard.