360° Spherical Video for the Virtual World – Thor’s Well Oregon

An image from a GoPro Max 360° Spherical Video Camera


Associated with the use of UAV-Quadcopters to help create virtual experiences of real places (see the last post) the Price Science Commons also has a GoPro Max 6K 360° camera that researchers and students can use to document an area.  We can also help get a person up and running to edit their material tool. So, what is a 360° camera? It is one that captures video (or a still if desired) in a fashion that puts the viewer of the video in control of where the camera is pointed.  The viewer uses either a computer mouse or fingerpad on a computer keyboard to move the camera direction.  It can be moved to the right, the left, up, or down, and even directly behind.  It is somewhat like being in a sphere where video is projected onto the full surface of the sphere and where you can look any direction to see the video in that direction.  In fact, it is also like being in a place in person.  Yes, you are still limited to seeing what is on your computer screen, but the viewing power is now in your hands to control. The camera resolution is quite good, but the wide-angle nature of the system makes objects at a distance appear very small.  Some online video services like YouTube support 360° spherical videos and they can be uploaded with about the same ease.  On the downside, as maybe expected, the video files are often quite large and upload time is longer.

Here’s a sample video posted to YouTube that we took with the camera:


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