A panorama is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space,
whether in painting, drawing, photography, film/video, or a three-dimensional model.
The word was originally coined by the Irish painter Robert Barker to describe his panoramic paintings of Edinburgh.
Shown on a cylindrical surface and viewed from the inside, they were exhibited in London in 1792 as "The Panorama".
The motion-picture term panning is derived from panorama.
In the mid-19th century, panoramic paintings and models became a very popular way to represent landscapes and historical events.
Audiences of Europe in this period were thrilled by the aspect of illusion, immersed in a winding 360 degree panorama
and given the impression of standing in a new environment. The Dutch marine painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag created and
established the Panorama Mesdag of The Hague, Netherlands, in 1881, a cylindrical painting more than 14 metres high
and roughly 40 meters in diameter (120 meters in circumference). In the same year of 1881, the Bourbaki Panorama in Lucerne,
Switzerland, which exhibits a circular painting, was created by Edouard Castres. The painting measures about 10 metres
in height with a circumference of 112 meters. Another example would be the Atlanta Cyclorama, depicting the Civil War Battle of Atlanta.
It was first displayed in 1887, and is 42 feet high by 358 feet wide. Even larger than these paintings is the Racławice Panorama
localled in Wrocław, Poland, which measures 120 x 15 metres.
Panoramic photography soon came to displace painting as the most common method for creating wide views.
Not long after the introduction of the Daguerreotype in 1839, photographers began assembling multiple
images of a view into a single wide image. In the late 19th century, panoramic cameras using curved film
holders employed clockwork drives to scan a line image in an arc to create an image over almost 180 degrees.
Digital photography of the late twentieth century greatly simplified this assembly process, which is now known
as image stitching. Such stitched images may even be fashioned into forms of virtual reality movies,
camera such as the Panoscan allows the capture of high resolution panoramic images and eliminates the need for
image stitching, but immersive 'spherical' panorama movies (that incorporate a full 180° vertical viewing angle
as well as 360° around) must be made by stitching multiple images. Stitching images together can be used to create extremely high resolution gigapixel panoramic images.
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