Monday, August 28, 2006

Rome Update now complete

The tour of Rome has now been fully updated. It now features over 100 panoramic images from Rome, including a number within St.Peter’s and the Vatican. With about 900 churches before thinking about anything else, Rome has so much to see that it is hard to know where to stop. Getting all the icons onto a map so they could still be distinguished individually puts some limit on the photographic madness. If you happen to see that your favorite place is not featured, then I am sorry. Let me know what it is and should I make it back there then I can try to cover it next time.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your virtual tour around the Pantheon, Vatican, Coliseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum and all the other places covered. Please let me know what your favorite image on the tour is – that’s what the comments are for!

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Bit of Fun...

Now this is simply a little bit of fun. The ever-reflective webcam image. It is a bit like a fractal image ever vanishing into infinity, or, in this case, as far as the camera resolution can take it. Easier to do than the opposing mirrors.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Panoramic Earth Meets the Google Dance 2006

Between July 7th and July 8th 2006 Panoramic Earth encountered the Google Dance, which resulted in over 50% traffic loss as Google re-arranged the web and updated itself. This is not a new phenomenon by any means. Often the large webmaster forums have their busiest times as panicked SEOs watch in helpless horror as months of careful grooming dissolves before their eyes (See Webmasterworld forum). Sites that were highly ranked vanish for unknown reasons into the internet ether, sometimes never to be seen again.

Unfortunately, Google is the major search engine around so placement here can make or break a site. Google does this to keep us on our toes. The aim is to ensure that the most relevant sites come back for search terms entered. Certainly if this removes various sites that are themselves simply returns of meta search results then so much the better. The algorithms are tweaked to try to remove abuses of the system. Unfortunately, sometimes honest hard work can get caught out as well. Sometimes all that remains is for the irate webmaster to begin again or wait until the next algorithm update and subsequent dance.

In the meantime it is back to the drawing board trying to figure out now where it is safe to submit the site to, will we be penalised for being listed in specific other directories or search engines? Directories and search engines come and go on the internet. They are born and die faster than you can say 'hey here's a new directory', which makes the task of site submission ever ongoing. For that reason we are always grateful when other sites like our content enough to link back to on their own. It is always good to know you are appreciated, so a big thank-you to all of you.

Our own woes continued for about a month, whereupon suddenly all was resorted, we had been forgiven whatever offence we had caused and were placed once again in our former positions. Happily, our position and traffic are now back to normal and seem to be stable. This is a bit of a relief to say the least, so now we can breath again until the next Big One…

Friday, August 04, 2006

Shooting Rome

Font di Trevi - RomeRome, city of around 1000 churches. It not just feels like that when walking around, this is a fact. On almost every corner you will stumble upon another one, often heavily decorated inside. The trip to update and expand the Rome content for Panoramic Earth was completed a short while ago. We have managed to cover all the famous sites again and add a huge collection of other places. Quite a few of them are, yes, churches.

But if you want to have a wonder around the Colesseum, St.Peters, see the Font di Trevi or the Pantheon, then these will shortly be added to the Rome tour. It just takes a little while to put together over 100 panoramic photographs and then add them to the map. So please be a little more patient with us, it is coming, but we still have to eat and sleep in between times staring at a computer screen.

Some of the observations I had while there – Rome is mostly cobbled roads. These have potholes in them and are uneven to say the least. Spending 6+ hours a day on a bike cycling round the city to collect the photographs does not make you friends with your butt. Neither does working non stop for all that time in temperatures often exceeding 35º! Rome also lacks from imagination when it comes to squares, there is nothing planted out in the plazas, just expanses of black cobbles.

That aside it does have the Pantheon, Colessuem, forum, St.Peters and hundreds of other fantastic buildings. And the evenings can make up for it, the food is fantastic, and walking around the centre late at night can be quite relaxing.

New Panoramas on Panoramic Earth