The following is a transcript of this video – Explore a Project Panorama on Your Own. Click on the embedded play button to start it. The video is high definition, and I recommend that you click on the expand button in the lower right-hand corner to play the video full screen.
In this video, I’m going to show you all the different ways you can explore a panorama within the Grand Canyon Panorama Project on your own. Right now, we are looking at the project panorama shot at Ooh Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail. Let’s start exploring it
The simplest way to explore a panorama is just to look around. To can turn the panorama to look in any direction – left, right, up, or down, by simply clicking and dragging with a mouse, as I have just done, or by touching and dragging with your finger on a touch device. You can zoom a panorama out, or back in, as I have just done, with a mouse wheel. On a touch device, you can use the standard two fingered pinch and zoom gestures to zoom in and out. Also on any device you can click or tap on the plus and minus zoom in and out buttons, in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Now we are going to look at all the special controls the project provides to you for your exploration. They are grouped together into 3 separate areas in different corners of the page – in the lower right-hand corner, the upper left-hand corner, and, where we will start, in the lower left-hand corner, which has buttons that control just what gets displayed for the current panorama.
Down in that corner, we see 4 buttons, labelled Morning, Afternoon, Sunrise, and Map. The Morning, Afternoon, and Sunrise buttons tell us that here, at Ooh Aah Point, we actually have three separate panoramas we can look at for this location: one shot in the morning, which the is selected panorama we are currently looking at, another shot in the afternoon, which I am displaying now by clicking on the Afternoon button, and one shot at sunrise, which I’m switching to now by clicking the Sunrise button.
Not all panorama locations have more than one panorama – in fact most locations have just one. I’ve clicked in the Hike Back button to move one location back up the South Kaibab Trail to the Toroweap Formation. Note that here, with just a single panorama available, instead of the Morning, Afternoon, and Sunrise buttons we saw at Ooh Aah Point ,we just have a Panorama button and a Map button, with the Panorama button selected.
I’ve clicked on my browser back button to take us back to Ooh Aah Point, and now I’ll show you what the Map button does. I’ve clicked it, and the project map has appeared, zoomed in and positioned at our current location at Ooh Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail. Notice the yellow beacon coming out from the orange numbered dot in the center of the page. The dot with the beacon shows our current panorama location, and the direction that the beacon is pointing is the direction that our panorama is currently facing. We can now do any of the things that we can normally do on a project map, such as pan around, as I am doing now, zoom out or in, or click on another dot, as I have just done, to go to another panorama location. But instead of clicking on the link to change location, I’m going to click in the Panorama button, which has replaced the Map button over in the lower left-hand corner, to return to our current panorama at Ooh Aah Point.
I’m going to show you one more one special, fun thing you can do on maps tied to panoramas. I’m going to pan the panorama with my mouse cursor to look back up the trail, to the south, and now click on the Map button to return to the map. We can see the beacon pointing off to the south as we would expect. But now I’m going to scroll the map and find O’Neill Butte a bit to the north, and now click on O’Neill Butte on the map. You see that the panorama has reappeared, and that it is turning to face the direction of the location we just clicked on the map – to look at O’Neill Butte. Whenever you click on the map, other than on a panorama dot, you will return to the panorama, and the panorama turns to look at whatever you just clicked on the map.
Now we’ll move over and look at the controls in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. There are four controls, and they all change how the panorama is displayed. The first is the rotate button. By default, as you have probably noticed, project panoramas will spin on their own to show themselves off. But you may want to turn off rotation to focus on some particular portion of the panorama, and toggling the rotate button lets you do so.
The second button, with the orange dot, is the show panorama locations toggle button. Push it, as I has just done, and all the project panorama locations visible in line-of-sight from our current location appear as orange dots within the panorama. As you can see, there can be lots of them. Click on one of the dots, as I have just done, and a link with the name of the panorama location appears to the right of the dot for a few seconds, and you can click the link, as I have just done, to fly directly to the other location, here going to and landing at Plateau Point. When we land, we look back at wherever we just came form, with our previous location marked by a flashing green dot. Now we could look around here at our new location, but I’m just going to click my browser’s back button to take us back again to Ooh Aah Point.
The third of our buttons controlling how our panorama is displayed, the white dot button with the letter ‘i’, is the show features toggle button. Click it, as I have just done, and we now see a bunch of white ‘i’ dots in the panorama. Each of the ‘i’ dots, ‘i’ for information, mark some particular feature visible within the scene. Click in an ‘i’ information dot, as I have just done, and the name of the feature, in this case O’Neill Butte, will appear for a few seconds.
The final of our four ‘how’ buttons is the show panorama compass toggle button. The panorama compass, which is shown by default, is in the upper left-hand corner of the panorama page, and the beacon coming out from it, like the one on the map, shows the compass direction that the panorama is facing. Turn the panorama, as I am doing now with my mouse, and the compass turns too. Also, the width of the beacon shows you your current field of view as you view the panorama. Zoom in, as I am doing now with my mouse wheel, and the beacon narrows to match your narrowed field of view. Zoom out, and the beacon widens. You may choose to declutter the panorama a bit, and you can hide the compass by clicking on the show compass toggle button as I have just done, or restore the compass by clicking it again.
Now let’s go look at the controls in the upper left-hand corner of the page, the list toggle buttons. Push any of these toggle buttons, and some sort of a list appears as a panel on the left-hand side of the page. Click on the show contents menu button on the left side, as I have just done, and the contents menu appears in the left-hand panel. You can watch another how-to video to learn the details of using the contents menu to navigate around within the project.
The second list toggle button, the show panorama locations list toggle button, has an orange dot just like the show panorama locations button, down in the ‘how’ buttons in the lower right-hand corner. But when you push this list button, as I have just done, a list of all the orange dot panorama locations visible in the scene appears. Click on an entry in the list, as I have just done, clicking on Bright Angel Point, and the panorama turns to show you the location of the panorama you just clicked, here turning to and showing you Bright Angel Point, some 20 miles off in the distance.
The third list toggle button, the show features list toggle button, again has its counterpart, the show features toggle button, down in the lower right-hand corner. But, again, when we click this list button, as I have just done, you see a list of features visible in the panorama. Click on an entry in the list, as I have just done, clicking on O’Neill Butte, the panorama again turns and shows us the location of O’Neill butte.
The last list toggle button is the show hiking destinations button. Click on it, and we get a list of all the directions and places we can hike to directly from our current location in the park. Another how-to video describes how to take virtual hikes in the project, with more detail on how to use this button.
Finally, if you prefer to take a guided tour instead of exploring around in a panorama on your own, you can click on the play narrative button in the middle of the bottom of the page. The next how-to video will show you the details of listening to and watching a narrative, and with narrative features like embedded hyperlinks, there’s more to it than you might think.