The FlyAbout system uses spatially indexed panoramic video to create an
interactive, photographic "virtual reality" system. By recording both FlyCam
video and location data along interesting paths, the video can be accessed by spatial
location using a map or "driving" interface.
Panoramic video is captured by a moving a 360° camera along continuous
replayed to give users the experience of moving along those trajectories, and the
ability to view any interesting object or direction. Spatially indexed video gives the
ability to travel along paths or roads with a map-like interface. At intersections,
users can chose which path to follow as well as which direction to look, allowing
interaction not available with conventional video. Combining the spatial index with a
spatial database of maps or objects allows users to navigate to specific locations or
interactively inspect particular objects.
Here are two videos that show FlyAbout navigation. The first video shows interactively navigating a courtyard at the Stanford University campus (9 MB MPEG video). Dragging the arrow changes your view direction, while dragging the red dot moves your view location. The second video shows a larger-scale FlyAbout system where you can virtually "drive" around Lake Tahoe. (9 MB WMV video). The red location dot moves with your viewpoint. Notice that you can even "drive backwards" by reversing your viewpoint and the play direction!
Here's a page that describes how FlyAbout video is captured
Here's a Java applet that will let you pan and zoom around a panoramic still image.
(Note that in the FlyAbout system plays back video, not just still images).
Click and move the mouse to pan and tilt
While panning, use control and shift keys to zoom in and
Alternatively, use the arrow keys for panning and tilting
in fixed increments.
Use + and -, or > and < keys to zoom in fixed increments.
Press the space bar to make hotspots visible; repress to
hide them again
Java applet from Helmut Dersch's Panorama Tools:
Here's a paper describing the FlyAbout system. Don Kimber, Jonathan Foote, and
"FlyAbout: Spatially Indexed Panoramic Video," in Proc. ACM Multimedia,
Oct. 2001 [Abstract,