Immersive photography



"Nomen omen" (destiny in the name) said the Latins ... the name given to this new medium is, after about twentyfive years from its birth, still uncertain. The trend, especially in the United States, is to give it an "virtual reality" attribute, therefore VR as an acronym.
But as we will see, it is not really Virtual Reality yet ...

Immersive photography
It is the most commonly used term, which has also spread to other languages. It defines quite well what it is: an "immersion in the scene".
An ambiguity arises with the interpretation of the term in the sense of real "immersion" in the water and therefore mistaken as a form of underwater photography.
But it is not definitive, the latest trends (2016), given by the spread of Google Cardboard or Oculus Rift (generically VR viewers) are already putting it in the attic ...
Interactive panorama
Simple and effective term, composed of "panorama" as Barker had coined it meaning 360, ° and "interactive".
Spherical photography
Ambiguous term: indicates indistinctly both the flat photo and the interactive panorama.
But it is simple and easy to understand, and it is what is spreading today.
3D photos (also Panorama 3D)
Term that I find in "After Photography" by Fred Ritchin: the reference to 3D is erroneous because although they are mappings of a sphere, the immersive photos represent a surface, therefore without the third dimension.
VR, VR panorama
Even this term (often adding "360°") is spreading today, improperly underlining membership in the world of "virtual reality". Ambiguous term as above.
360° photography
This too is an ambiguous term as above.
Orbicular photography
Ancient term, refers to the product of "orbicular" cameras, such as the Seitz Roundshot.
The orbicular photographs are actually "printed" panoramas, perhaps 360° horizontal, but they do not have the characteristic of being "interactive". It is therefore an irrelevant term.
Ando Gilardi (Italian historian of photography) spoke of "orbicular optical polyptych" for the panorama of the Janiculum of 1849.
Photography without continuity solution
Splendid definition, which emphasizes the non-finiteness of the image, its being next and not discreet, ie the fact that an image is not limited by the frame.
Too refined for current use, term not common at all in aglosaxon dictionary.
4π steradian photograph
Current term in astronomy, in its mathematical character it expresses well the characteristic of "surface" of a sphere and not of "solid".
An acronym for QuickTime Virtual Reality, it was the first name given to this type of photographic image coined by Apple Computers, which first developed the software for its vision. The term "Virtual Reality" comes into play, even if in the relationship of Erich Chen, it is defined with "an Approach to Virtual Reality environment", as to emphasize that it is not really virtual reality, but an "approach" to.
The term, however, contains "QuickTime", which refers exclusively to Apple software, and since instead these photos can now be viewed with Java, Flash, html5 or webGL, it is practically deprecated.
A virtual tour is not the single immersive photo, but a collection of immersive photos, which are therefore called nodes of a virtual tour.
Street View type photo
With this term now, we understand perfectly what we are talking about, because since 2007 Google has included this type of images in its Google Maps. The power of the Google industry quickly spreads the concept of "immersive photography" to the world, so much so that it is thought that Google invented it ...

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© Toni Garbasso