Observation decks and visitor centers are designed around unique views and destinations that draw visitors from all over. These locations and vistas are compelling, but often lack context or information to those unfamiliar with the landscape. To solve this problem, we created the Gigatouch Image Explorer interactive panorama platform. This system turns incredibly high-resolution, 360-degree panoramic photos (shot from the top of a building, an interior location — even a custom illustration) into an richly-detailed interactive exploration of the area. It acts as a virtual “local expert” to teach visitors about what they’re looking at in real-time.
This application brings familiar interactive smartphone gestures (such as pinch-zoom and swipe) to detailed images on large-format touchscreens and interactive walls. The interactive panorama platform allows for intuitive, quick and fun inspection of panoramic 360 photos and gigapixel imagery. Designed primarily for use on observation decks and visitor centers, this system increases visitor value and dwell time by allowing them to answer the question “What am I looking at?” on their own. Visitors love exploring gigapixel images with groups, and the large format is great for guided tours and sharing content with others (“These are the famous ‘Rocky steps’ from the movie Rocky“,”Here’s my apartment from college!”).
Custom panoramic photography and gigapixel images not only provide context for what a visitor is seeing, they add value to less-than-stellar weather days. When the live view is shrouded by clouds, fog, or haze, the digital view is always crisp or clear. Add views at different times or day or year help increase dwell times at the exhibits and help visitors identify landmarks in a variety of weather and lighting conditions.
Our custom browser-based editor enables adding points of interest (POIs) containing text information and rich media, such as image slideshows or video content, at any zoom level. Tag and categorize POIs to enable thematic browsing (“Show me only sports venues”). Multiple views (e.g. day and night views, different seasons, et al) solve for a variety of interactive panorama views at different times of day and year. All UI controls and POI content can be translated into multiple user-selectable languages (EFIGS+C), and is designed for devices ranging from handheld to wall-sized.
The panoramic photos often capture unique, poignant moments in the landscape that don’t become obvious until after they’ve been edited. In one fantastic example, the daytime gigapixel image from One Liberty Plaza in Philadelphia captured a wedding party taking photos at the famous Love Park fountain. The search for the identities of this lucky mystery couple in this panoramic photo made the local news and became a fantastic marketing boost for the observation deck.
The Gigatouch Image Explorer has been deployed in observation decks across the country, including the Space Needle, 360 Chicago, and Philly from the Top. It has also been adapted for use in corporate visitor center scenarios. Each instance is custom-skinned to reflect the unique branding and look and feel of the attraction of location. Feature customization is possible upon request.