Site-seers;Web sites

11th September 1998 at 01:00

This is one of those web sites that Internet enthusiasts like to gabble on about, since it enables them to use phrases like "Surround VideoActiveX control" and "immersive panoramic imaging".

Despite the sophistication of the software, though, is based on an extremely simple premise: that it would be rather fun to offer viewers the chance to take a stroll through the centres of the world's capital cities and take a good look around.

This where the "immersive panoramic" bit begins: you can zoom in on street maps, on which a click at certain points will summon 180 or 360-degree "fisheye"-style views of the neighbourhood.

The producers started with London, which is now well-covered with more than 100 images. You can take a virtual stroll from St Paul's Cathedral to Kensington Gardens, taking various routes. They are now moving on to Paris and New York.

Longer term they hope to be able to supply live video from interesting spots in these and other cities. Why? Because it's possible, I suppose. There are some fine images of attractive places. The site is great for nostalgics, and those unable (or too lazy) to travel.

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