Three.Sixty Panorama Engine

Serving Online Interactive Panoramas Across all Platforms and Devices:

The IRC increasingly needs to display interactive 360° panoramas in web browsers across all platforms, including mobile devices. In the past, we've relied on external websites to host these, but these sites have begun adding advertising, links that redirect users away from the site, and other features that compromise the integrity of the information and presentation. The goal of this project is to provide a solution that can be served in-house, is secure and flexible, and seamlessly supports any device, operating system, and browser.

Unfortunately, not all web browsers support one common method for rendering 3D scenes. Building upon Three.js, an open source lightweight 3D javascript library, we will to be able to cater to all major web browsers by using three different rendering methods: WebGL, CSS 3D, and Canvas Renderer. These have been wrapped into a single library that automatically picks the best renderer and constructs the the panoramic scene based on the web browser's specific capabilities.

Development of this technology is almost complete and is currently being put to use supporting ongoing websites with virtual tours, including the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall website.

Production Notes

Lead Programmer: Mark Jarzynski
Undergraduate Programmer: Wallace Brown
Sponsors: National Academy of Sciences and UMBC's Office of Institutional Advancement