MOSSMAN GORGE

This page provides some additional ideas that "I" (as Camo Rama) use to take panos as well as an example of an "us/we/our" (as slowweb.tours) Slow Web App which features a rain-forest tourist attraction named Mossman Gorge. As of August 2018 the app is yet to be completed (bad back!) but has sufficient panos to show the ideas.

If you watch the Google video on new developments for taking panos you will see a girl on a skateboard and a man on a bike both employing cameras on hats and helmets which is what I used for Mossman Gorge.

But before that the "bad back" reference above (more specifically sciatica) may well have been caused by taking panos like this one below using my iphone and the Street View app via what I call "eat the yellow dot" mode where the photographer is required to move the phone as if over the full surface of a soccer ball, eating up every one of the 40 or so yellow dots. It is the dots up top that require you to contort your body into some weird positions, essentially doing the Limbo, which can challenge the sciatic nerve of a septuagenarian (who may just have been a limbo rock participant in the 1950s!!).

So while this method leaves no footprint at all at the bottom and saves the cost of $300 for a pano camera like the Ricoh I describe below, it takes a lot more time in taking and then stitching the pano and also can show up some nasty stitching marks if you wander too far from that imaginary soccer ball. So for me the purchase of the Ricoh was the way to go but that then adds in the problem Techmoan describes as "the little baldy man" (himself) at the bottom of the pano.

So the first investment was a $2.50 camouflage hat you see in these photos (hence the name Camo Rama, where Camo can be taken as camera or camouflage and Rama short for panorama) which I sandwiched between two plastic plates with a quick release tripod fitting on top and chin straps I took from an old bicycle helmet. Hence we have a "camo-selfie" (a "hatie"?) below with the latest hat version and with my Google name as a "watermark" on top. So I have inclined my head down to let you see these features while remaining anonymous, and of course this also avoids frightening the little children. And yes, at certain times of the year there is a 15 foot crocodile in that pond beside me.

There is a story behind the T-Shirt which I may or may not share herein, but the only difference from normal operation is that the camera is in my right hand rather than on top of the hat.

I control the camera from the Ricoh app on my iphone so I clamp that on top of a dual purpose walking pole/monopod with the clamp coming from a suction holder to hold a phone to the window of a car. There is also the guillotine looking device available that you can see sticking out the side, but I prefer the clamp.

When taking a pano I hold the iphone close to my face under the hat and hit the button on the app while looking straight ahead. It is best to be monitoring the image on the iphone to get it reasonably straight but the Google publishing mechanism automatically corrects the alignment.

If I do all that properly the pano has all of the hat and none of me with the camera itself automatically cut out, with the cut marks extending only about to the edge of the hat. Because the watermark is built in I can instantly upload to Google Maps without needing extra processing as for a digital watermark so the camera on the hat provides the dual purpose of "camouflaging" the user while also providing some promotional value. Google only insists that the watermark remain in the lower 25% of the image and in this case the whole hat fits in. There is an extension piece 50 mm long that can be used to raise the camera if needed.

It should also be understood that if you are doing both the panos and the app then you don't have to embed Google panos all the time. The default pano in Frame 3 of this app is presented in a Java based viewer and I am able to add Pointers which take the viewer directly to any pre programmed part of the pano (as well as "... pano by Camo Rama").

So here is a typical pano from hat-top:

You can scroll down but to make it easy here is a screenie of the footprint:

As seen Google has dispensed with the idea of cloning out their cars in the footprint and now tends to favour making a highlight of the vehicle, so I have done the same for my Rocsta (like a Jeep) as there are many roads up here where Google has never ventured. Here are the appropriate pano and screenie.

I have printed Camo Rama onto the sun visors.

The final one is provided for the benefit of James the skipper of the Tranquil Rose Hotelboat who I hope to convince to plonk-some-panos on the non-tidal part of the Thames to complete this app for the tidal sections.

So I have placed the camera back on the hat but have climbed on to the back of the car to simulate James's steering position, and if you go back to the pano above the screenie the "snout" of the Tranquil Rose would be about the position of the landing above the blue slide, not taking up much at all of the 360 view.

In fact the Tranquil Rose with its slimmer "figure" and well tended geraniums on the roof would create far better panos than for the tidal boat example shown below.

So please add these ideas to your list of the other ideas set out above in taking panoramas for the South Downs Way or in fact any other place on or about this planet.