Shout out to Squarespace

I was a long time user of Posterous and part time dabbler in Squarespace until Twitter bought Posterous and then shut it down effectively killing all the good SEO that I'd accumulated over the years and forcing me to export and rebuild most of my travel blogs ( still a work in progress).

The good side of all of this is the fact that Squarespace is now my blog home and tonight it just all came together so I just had to post this Shout out.

Squarespace blog with iFrame displaying 360˚ panorama, from Left to Right, on Safari on the iPad, Safari on the iPhone5, Google Chrome on the Desktop and Google Chrome on Nexus 7.

In this blog post there are three great software applications coming together to help me realise my aim to deliver my 360˚ panoramas across a range of platforms without having to jump through hoops of fire while juggling chainsaws.

The applications in question are PTGui, Pano2VR and Squarespace. 

PTGui, Pano2VR and Squarespace

PTGui is a program that stitches my individual images together to create an image format called an Equirectangular image. This unique image contains all of the information in a scene, left, right, up and down. 

Equirectangular Image

Equirectangular Image

Pano2VR takes that Equirectangular image and slices and dices it into 6 cube faces. It creates multiple resolution versions to speed up loading on different size screens. It creates the Flash and HTML5 presentation layers, complete with Javascript files. It detects when Flash is available and presents in that format if possible if not it defaults back to HTML5.

Low res grayscale preview and full color cube faces

Low res grayscale preview and full color cube faces

And finally Squarespace lets me deliver it seamlessly to all of these devices without having to change or recode anything inside, what I think, is one of the best UI's in the business.

Creating a blog post in Squarespace

To all of the software applications and the folks that made them I'd just like to say thank you for giving me the tools and the power to publish my work. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other critical pieces of the puzzle. Nodal Ninja for well built, robust panorama gear and great service. Canon for the 5D Mark II and the 15mm Fisheye lens and Adobe Photoshop for the retouching tools.