Photo: Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock

2 New Tools for Next-Level Panoramas

by Joshywashington Jun 26, 2015

I LOVE PANORAMAS. They give us the ability to see an entire environment, the whole ‘world’ from a particular point of view. I love to capture panoramas in photo and video in an attempt to communicate what it looks/feels like to be at a certain place at a certain time. Whereas a regular photo has narrow field of view a panorama leaves nothing out. The ground, the sky, north, south, east, and west. There is a wholeness and totality to the images that I have grown to admire.

Here are two brand new panorama tools that are blowing my mind right now.


Galileo is my GoPro’s new best friend. No, not the bearded, long dead, telescope-wielding 15th-century astronomer — I’m talking about the 2-axis motorized panorama gadget designed for smartphones and GoPros. Said GoPro/phone is inserted into the top of the Galileo which swivels up and, when powered on, rotates in 4 possible directions at a variety of speeds.

Translation: buttery smooth panoramas and time-lapse videos with your cell or GoPro.

Up until this point I had been attaching my GoPro on an IKEA kitchen timer, a popular poor man’s hack. This is obviously a huge step forward for me. Developed by Motrr, the Galileo has 2 basic modes of control: D-PAD where you set the direction(s) and speed and the device rotates accordingly & JOYSTICK a manual modes that allows for total freedom of movement, but in my hands tends to be more chaotic.

The device is velvety smooth to the touch and creme colored and about the size of two stacked hockey pucks. It charges via USB port and is operated via bluetooth and the smartphone / tablet app.

I created this short demo video to show some of the places I’ve used the Galileo in recently.


RoundMe is taking mobile panorama interaction to a new level. Create a panorama and upload it to the RoundMe app — it’s now apart of their geotagged global data base and is populating your slick profile. As reported by TechCrunch here, RoundMe has recently raised $3 million in funding — hence the incredible website and UX and mobile capabilities.

There are other panorama hosting services, but what makes RoundMe so kick ass is that it allows users to link panoramic images together creating interactive movement to a new/linked panorama by clicking its icon. You may upload photos with descriptions and other information to your RoundMe panorama that are embedded as interactive icons. The finished product, from a visitor’s point of view, is the most immersive and interactive panoramic experience to date.

For travel storytellers, RoundMe creates a whole new space to create interactive content. I think RoundMe is a precursor to next generation media experience — think about the implications of experiencing RoundMe like environments through VR headsets. You’ll be able to move through Angkor Wat room by room, temple by temple.


This is the RoundMe I created of the Manhattan Beach Pier. It’s my first one so far. You will notice that I have 3 photos ‘embedded’ within the panorama and accessed through the icons floating in space. I really like this feature — I was able to upload some pics I had posted on Instagram of the pier with captions, making the panorama a much richer media experience and expression.

ROUNDME is free, get it here —>

GALILEO by Motrr is not free, get it here —>

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