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Virtual Tour Photo Magazine

- Hi, I am Click!
At this page I blog about topics important for me. From business prospective.

You can leave the comments in by GuestBook or on Blogger.

2009 April 16 Here is the russian game, home page of which is using wiggling stereo effect.  
2008 June 15

Panoramio ( from Google ). I have noticed Google started to show pictures of places at its maps. They are collected at Panoramio. Hm... It looks like not too many people were rushing to upload their photos to Google Street View. ( and it is impossible nor technically nor artistically ). Now, this is more profound, but still... something is missing ! They still rely on people. Yes, and the argument is as old as cheap cameras: everyone can click a button. But not everyone can make a photograph. And photographers know that.

Following Flickr success, in my view, Panoramio has more future than street-side views. Look what I did at Alcatraz map. Or look at this Las Vegas map I did ! Here is the example for you, Panoramio free suppliers !

 
2007 November 6 Total Experience: - “From Information Design to Designing for Experience”: Keynote at 3rd International Conference on Information Design (ICID), Curitiba, Brazil, October 8-10, 2007  
2007 November 3 One more business of virtual tours: EveryScape. I do not understand why in the modern world people are so hungury to turn any activity into a business? Well.. It is there money.. Here is the MIT article where you can read all about it.  
2007 June 2

Project "Rome Reborn", a virtual tour around the ancient Rome at about 320 BC time when the city had population of about 1 million. This is a 3D virtual presentation. It took 10 years to complete. They call it "virtual time machine".

Unfortunately, there is no on-line version. They want to make presentation to be available to users through the "Second Life" ( run by Linden Labs based in San Francisco, as you know ).

 
2007 June 2

EveryScape, Inc. published a press release, republished in such on-line publications like ComputerWorld.

Here is what EveryScape, Inc says: ".. is creating the world's first interactive eye-level search that enables Web users to engage in a totally immersive, photo-realistic world on the Internet".  It "..offers Web users a totally immersive world on the Internet.." And "..EveryScape is actively creating a virtual experience.."

Especially I liked this: "Building the online world is a massive undertaking. And no one company or technology can do it alone - nor should they. We are on a quest to help build the 'People's World'," said Jim Schoonmaker, president and CEO of EveryScape."

Well, while they are busy making their own, check out my Virtual Experience.

 
2007 April 24 NASA has a stereo root.  
2007 March 20 I had a customer from a JROTC organization today (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps ) - that is a good idea !  
2007
March 12
Published Hoover Dam virtual tour.  
  IBM's Second Life. Have you seen the map? Why it is flat!? They even have "land" for sale!  
2006 November 8 While Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, with its 3-D version of "Virtual Earth" that provides "photorealistic" images of the 15 targeted cities including San Francisco, as well as Google are struggling to picturize everything, I work on artistic principles of virtual tour design. ( What else can I do in comparison to these good guys. ) My work is not a database nor software for it. It is a new art form.  
2006 October 14

Geogad made a new tour! Now it is Fisherman's Wharf. This is a direct link to the Geodad page of interest. These tours are downloadable to a MP3 player mobile device and contain audio and image self-guided walking tours. On the site you can see the tour preview. Actually, I myself found quite a lot of interesting staff from this audio.

This is my Fisherman's Wharf, for comparison. Of course it is not mobile and not intended to, so I can allow a lot of nice pictures of larger size.

 
2006 September 28 Google recognized the "walking tours" as a kind of visual presentation. Like trailers. "travel articles benefit from a good walking tour". Here is the Google search results he refers to. They should be called "video walking tours" or "slide show walking tours". I hope no one will be so aggravating to call it virtual walking tours. But they will.. Google was struggling with the same problem I do: "virtual tour" term is compromised by the myriad of terrible quality concoctions, so that no one accept it seriously. What to do? What name to use?  
2006
September 20

Someone wrote: ".. A virtual tour should be more than a map overview, and a bunch of single images that just fade from one to the other. That's not virtual... if the tour had 10x the images.. and it looked like you were actually going from one location to another.. BANG... it'd be a virtual tour.

Now, you just jump.. from one spot... to another spot... to another spot and the geographic relationship between them is not expressed in any way more than a map over view. "

I can not agree more. I hope you will find my site eventually..

 
2006 August 30 As I have found today IPIX is bankrupt. No wonder. Take a week idea of 360 degree virtual tour ( just a name is so ugly ! ), poor management, marketing hype, and you've got what you've got. "Many real estate agents have IPIX panoramas they need to host immediately, or they have run out of keys to create new virtual tours, or simply they have purchased IPIX hardware and have to think about starting over..". Well, I suppose they are not going to start over. The idea is dead. Do not invest in dead. Invest in live. Invest in Click with its incredible real virtual tours!  
2006 August 2

Today in a press release I have found about an interesting development: Geogad Mobile Tours introduced Self-Guided MP3 Walking Tours of San Francisco Union Square. These are audio and image self-guided walking tours that are virtual tour guides. Audio provides detailed and interesting information, but visually... ehhh... it is rather boring. Well, what can you expect from a mobil device: these tours are downloaded! Compare to Yes San Francisco tours which contain megabytes of images. Of course, one can not take my tours with him. Unless he buys a CD. Here is my Union Square Tour.

Well, coming back to Geogad. The idea is very interesting and promising: maps, photos, spoken word descriptions, even advertisement if you wish, on your mobil device or even a phone!

Here is the Geogad webside: http://www.geogad.com. Contact: Georgi Dagnall. Good luck!

 
2006 July 31 Las Vegas Virtual Tour is finished today. The first version. Go up and down the Las Vegas Boulevard.  
2006 June 3 SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 2, 2006 - Google has partnered with the Earth Day Network (EDN) to launch the new Google Maps Summer of Green, an environmentally focused video and map guide to eco-tourism spots. The presentation features the top U.S. travel city destinations -- New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco ( - review my Las Vegas virtual tour ).

The maps enable users to discover green travel options by featuring guided virtual video tours of environmentally friendly destinations, including organic spas, hotels, restaurants, eco car rentals, and green family friendly activities such as nature museums and horseback riding outposts.

These Google Maps Summer of Green mash-ups use the Google Maps API to create an overlay of video clips on the city maps, capturing green locations recommended by Earth Day Network, the premier global environmental advocacy organization.

"Earth Day Network is building an army of green consumers in this country," said Kathleen Rogers, president of EDN. "We are pleased to work with Google to encourage eco-tourism and green travel habits this summer which will ultimately move us all closer to a greener, safer America."

Google Maps Summer of Green will be live throughout the summer.
 
  AI on the Web |  
2006 April 25 Here is a good example of importance of the wiggling stereo technology. Sometimes flat photos lead to depth-field illusions which in many situations are undesirable. So, watch the example. It was made in Castle Crags State Park in California.  
2006 April 11

Some time ago I have applied for the Webby award in the category NetArt. San Francisco Click was not nominated. Here is the list of what they picked for nomination:

Color of Sound: http://concretethestudio.com/colo... - Concrete CMS
justcurio.us: http://www.justcurio.us - Number 27
PostSecret: http://postsecret.blogspot.com/ - IIS

Now here is San Francisco Click.

Have I picked up a wrong category?

 
2006 March 21 The idea of neighborhood virtual tours is presented in the "Net Offers Buying Sight Unseen, But Should You?" article by Broderick Perkins. It also said about the increasing number of real estate home buyers on-line. It has clear advantage: one may search 10-20 houses in an hour than visiting in real. These people are also very interested in neighborhood, but "Neighborhood virtual tours ... is still on the drawing boards" said Mr. Perkins. Well, at least the technology is ready!

 
2006 March 12

Microsoft came with an idea of what they call Street-Side Views implemented in Windows Local Live

"Windows Live Local .. demonstrates our work-in-progress thinking about a rich immersive experience in mapping that also explores local information.."

And here they answer the question: "Why do I need street-side views?
Historically, maps give you a perspective of geographical information about a place. In Windows Live™ Local, powered by Virtual Earth™, you've seen road, aerial, and hybrid maps. Then, we introduced bird's eye views to give you a perspective from above. Now, we want you to be there, right in front of the pizza shop you are searching for, in the street-side views offered by Windows Live Local. Even though you haven't left the comfort of your computer chair, you'll feel like you're actually there."

Good job! Here is the site: http://preview.local.live.com/ where you can taste it.

Here is mine Street-side View Local San Francisco, do not forget to compare!

So, Microsoft calls it Street-Side Views, aha..

Images what Microsoft uses are from Facet Technology Corporation.  Here what they do: "Location-Based Services, Virtual Tours, Local Search, Intersection Images, Logistics and Parcel Mapping pages to get a better idea of how SightMap™ can add value to your products and services."

I do not know have I seen them or wise guys from A9 romping along the road in a track shooting around with a machine gun speed. I was taking pictures at the Hyde Street in San Francisco at that day. They have probably made a 100000 pictures while I was making a 100. Jeeeee..

 
2006 February 25 The Windows Live Local search and mapping service - that is how MSN Virtual Earth is called now.  
2005 September 25

WebZine 2005, a "forum exhibition and celebration for Independent Online Publishing" ( sponsored by Technorati, AdBrite, Comcast, Google, WordPress, .. ) is going now in San Francisco.

You know what ? They forgot to invite me !

Well, here is my message:

Now, with the total alliance with web-media free independent philosophy, here I am - San Francisco Click. A San Francisco (!) independent (!) photo Virtual Tour Internet (!) Magazine run with unique technology missing such a wonderful event like WebZine 2005 conduct my presentation on my site:

San Francisco Click

Visit my booth!
You have never seen anything like that before.

Thank you for publishing this comment!

PS. By the way, I am number 1 on Google for San Francisco Pictures and San Francisco Virtual Tour.

It is called also WebZine2005

 
2005 August 12 The first wiggle stereo tour SBC Park - is released. New applet is developed. Here is more information about my wiggling stereo technology. Applications to screen savers, electronic advertisement boards, and computer interfaces are disclosed. It is besides the obvious applications where quick and simple method of obtaining 3D estimation is required.  
2005 June 28 Today I have released my first subscription e-mail. By a coincidence ( quite a lot of them in my life ) Google released today Google Earth. Explore, Search and Discover, a 3D interface to the planet. Nice, but not the same like my virtual tours.  
2005 June 15 Here is a Washington Post article about how tech firms are trying to "to Conquer the Globe". It talks about Google Earth and MSN Virtual Earth projects. It also mentions that the older mapping service MapQuest "experimented with letting users peek at satellite images years ago, but it couldn't find a use for the technology that interested consumers beyond a few minutes' novelty". Google Earth and Microsoft's Virtual Earth go the step beyond providing means to navigate, but reality is that the images still luck neither artistic nor documentary quality. Good! It opens room for us - art photographers to explore not conquer the Earth the way we see it! Here is your choice of software ( made by me! ) to explore new creative horizons.  
2005 May 23

As it is stated in a Washington Post article, Microsoft Corp. previewed a geo-mapping service. "High-fidelity images captured by a fleet of small planes". "MSN Virtual Earth will offer photos that look down on buildings from a 45-degree angle". Preview

"You can really establish that what-is-it-like-there kind of feeling," Stephen Lawler, general manager of Microsoft's MapPoint business said. "This is a game-changing kind of imagery for the Internet and for this kind of search experience we're trying to create."

Earlier A9 published its "Block View" directory of car-driven-taken images of US cities ( for example ). And Google introduced its satellite imagery.

Did sombody mentioned photographers there? Nop. There are no photographers. Just a bunch of pics arranged in accordance with geo-coordinates and bribes from coffee-shop owners.

Oh, I forgot to mention the first technology ( First because it was first published on internet ). Mine. Look at it:

San Francisco Click's San Francisco.

If you understand that a photographers view on the Earth and events is a little different, contact me. I will help you to express yourself. Do not be dissappointed by the price. Contact me!

 
2005
May 3

Stem Cell Research Headquarters might be located in San Francisco! It is controversial, but good for the city, Bay Area, and my Virtual Tour business. Here is what San Francisco competitors think.

 
2005
January 27
Press release

Long awaited Alcatraz Virtual Tour ( Beta ) is released. A fruit of tiring trips and sleepless nights.
Welcome to a new world!

Yes San Francisco, LLC, San Francisco-based company is proud to introduce the world to a new type of Internet Interactive Media. The inventor of unique Photo Virtual Tours, Igor Polk says:

"- I have invented this technology in 1996. It is created as a blend of Myst-like software interactive technology and photography. I utilized my experience with photography, software engineering, image analysis, artificial intelligence, and .. guiding tours: I was a tour guide. Actual work started in 2000. In 2002 the first San Francisco Virtual Tour was published on Internet. Since then it is the best. You can check it yourself! It is still the same and attracting thousands of visitors every week. I always tried to keep low key, since I looked at the technology from scientific point of view. I am a perfectionist. It looks like now it is time to proclaim the results more loudly. Thank you!"

The following press release was published by DirectionsMag as it seen here on the Google A9 alert's page. It still was there on January 31. Then it disappeared from the DirectionsMag.

Small San Francisco Virtual Tour company contests A9.com

San Francisco, CA - Yes San Francisco, LLC, an inventor and leading producer of interactive Photo Virtual Tours releases today the Alcatraz Virtual Tour on-line ( Beta ). Is is an addition to the San Francisco Virtual Tour first published in 2002.

The company is dedicated to quality of photography and visual presentation claims that its presentation of San Francisco and technology better than Amazon.com A9.com's newly released San Francisco Virtual Tour.

 

 

2005
January 27
By Igor Polk

"Looking for a cafe? Take a tour of the block online" was written by MICHAEL LIEDTKE from The Associated Press and published in The News Tribune.com

This article is about A9.com subsidiary of Amazon.com. Here is what they do: "New 'Block View' technology lets users virtually walk streets and see businesses". "A new technology"? A new name for technology, may be. I wonder did they ever search Google for 'San Francisco Virtual Tour' discovering my Virtuar listing at the first place?

Today they have launched " 'A9.com Yellow Pages,' a new service that helps users find and discover local businesses in a completely new way". Go ahead and look what they did. And for comparison, here is my San Francisco site first published in 2002.

Tech guys for some reason think that taking a picture is nothing more than clicking a button. Goood!

Well, let us go back to the article.

"Online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. is trying to become a bigger player in the Internet's crowded search engine market with a local business directory that supplements address and phone number listings with a photographic tour covering 10 major U.S. cities, including Seattle, Portland and San Francisco." writes Michael Liedtke.

What they did is on the level of amateur work. And that is Amazon? I am sure that with time they'll use their billions to make something better, but I believe that the better must start with the sound implementation from the very beginning. I think that they are publishing too early. Why all that rush? Is Google coming with something similar? Or you are so ego to compete with unknown Yes San Francisco LLC?

"It's like taking a virtual stroll around the block,” said Udi Manber, A9's chief executive. “We believe this is going to expand the user experience significantly", Michael Liedtke writes. Or Reuters: " “You can virtually go to an area, see the business and walk around the block,” A9.com Chief Executive Udi Manber said of the service in an interview. “You get a feel for the neighborhood.” ".     Definitely, the users of my site clearly indicate it in the guestbook. This is a great thing, but made such miserably it compromises the idea. The world is already filled with "virtual tours" of slappy implementation.

They said that "Amazon formed the subsidiary in October 2003" and they have about 20 millions pictures ( have you seen them?) it means roughly.. M-mm.. 47,000 pictures a day. Oh, I guess that is the record for photography! Businesses will be very "thankful" to you! A9.com present them in such ugly manner that no one would ever want to go there after looking at those pictures!

A9.com created a terrible, untrue impression about my beautiful city. Now they are going to disseminate it all around the world. Spam is proliferating.

Greg Sterling of the Kelsey Group said that "It looks like they have started down an interesting path". Have you seen my site Mr. Sterling? Do you know when I started? In 2001. 2 years earlier. I hope it means a lot these days.

Tags:

 

2005
January 20

By
Igor Polk

 

A wonderful article on Linux is published by Business Week. How Linux, Linus Torvalds, and the whole community of developers and industry behemoths who support them operate. Educational reading indeed! As usually they take on Bill Gates and his baby - Microsoft. A "Billionaire" versus Saint Torvalds. Billy a son of a lawyer is loudly demonized as a reachest man in the world: "All the bad comes from him!". A harsh businessman against free community of free-workers. Proclaims who? Business Week!

 

 
Forming of Click's mission statement

"-- Even though I do it for several years already, I can say it is just a beginning. The way it is now, the spirit of my magazine is better viewed in the last 2 articles. I mostly concentrate on photos, since my English is not that good. The Click's mission is the following:
In a non-intrusive amusing way comprehensively describe interesting places and events of the world in conjunction with local and global history, technology, economics, and politics, all aspects of human civilization. Emphasis is done on deep underlying strategic forces and relations in contrast to politicized, popular, sensational, shallow topics. The motto is "This is your world". A world viewed by Click - a friendly creative smart character currying positive energy. The magazine promotes creative and critical thinking, problem solving, exploration and research spirit, active attitude, abilities to make insights. The backbone is the breakthrough virtual tour technology amended with other types of journalism, preferably essays and reportages mixing photo and text by the same author.

If you looked at my latest articles, you will find that the structure is exactly the same like in yours: a set of small thumbnails representing chapters with descriptions.

-- It needs to locate the right niche market to keep the readership loyal.
-- I am forming a niche market. Click does not serve, Click leads. Well, it is difficult, but that is the way it goes.

-- Even if it is a travel website, is it a travel journal version (where it is about the feeling from the events), or the virtual tour version (a how-to-get-there). And your geographical and lifestyle niche markets?
-- This is definitely not a travel or lifestyle magazine the way we know them. It is about places, local or remote, but philosophy it totally different. Virtual tour in my understanding is not how-to-get-there. It is more like a travel journal, a new type of photo art I would say "comprehensively describing structure, feeling, and underlying forces, arousing interest and exploration spirit". You can compare it with National Geographic, except that NG being currently greatly politicized curries negative spirit. Of course it is just an example - it is too much of honor for Click to be compared with NG.

-- If you want talented writer, I have a friend who wrote beautifully about his travel experiences if one does not mind a slight political note here and there. I will just copied some excerpts here because I don't have his
authorization in releasing his entire work. If you can locate quality photographs to match the contents of his writings, that would be great.
-- Bibi, I am looking for comprehensive very deep authors which can do both. Plus able to make they own pages. Can you give me more targeted examples of her work?"

 

2004 November 15
By
Igor Polk

Here is an article(new window) The Point Of Virtual Tours written by Stephen Canale published in realtytimes.com(new window). Author speaks about incredible marketing opportunities of virtual tours for real estate business. He defines what has to be called a "virtual tour", what qualities it has to have to be profitable, to boost sales, and not to be a waste or even compromise the selling idea. Essentially what he means is quality. Quality to attract and hold attention. As one of the most essential properties he discusses an ability to add "hot spots" within a tour. Mr. Canale talks about some industry examples. I have found this to be one of the most important article about application of virtual tours to the real estate industry. I agree with author in many things. But I believe that talking about quality he missed the quality of photographs. I believe that without a professional photographer it is not possible to make great virtual tours. Mediocre, yes. Ok, may be. But not good and definitely not great. Technology does not solve problems. People do. Here, at Yes San Francisco we accumulated giant experience of making virtual tours in Mr. Canale's sense, the things which can be called true virtual tours. And I know that to make a tour were one photo leads to another one smoothly, transmission from a yard to a room, then to another room done beautifully a great deal of experience is required. The difference is simple. Do you want the tour to sell the property or opposite?

 
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2004 November 15
By
Igor Polk

The San Francisco Bay Trail Project an organization "dedicated to planning, promoting and advocating implementation of the Bay Trail" around San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay and currently a part of ABAG ( the Association of Bay Area Governments ) is looking for volunteers to finish its Virtual Tour project. Bay Trail Project publishes a lot of excellent maps for people who like to walk, hike, and bike along the bay area trails. There are also Guided Photo Tours. These are collection of pages with photos dedicated to particular landmarks, parks, and trails. Yes Virtual Tours also provide a lot of useful information about San Francisco trails and some about Marin county - Muir Woods.

 
 

2004 October 27
By
Igor Polk

Keyhole is acquired by Google:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - October 27, 2004 - Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) today announced it acquired Keyhole Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based digital mapping company.

"With Keyhole, you can fly like a superhero from your computer at home to a street corner somewhere else in the world - or find a local hospital, map a road trip or measure the distance between two points," said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president, Product Management. "This acquisition gives Google users a powerful new search tool, enabling users to view 3D images of any place on earth as well as tap a rich database of roads, businesses and many other points of interest. Keyhole is a valuable addition to Google's efforts to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

With an Internet connection, users enter an address or other location information and Keyhole's software accesses the database and takes them to a digital image of that location on their computer screen. The interactive software then gives users many options, including the ability to zoom in from space-level to street-level, tilt and rotate the view or search for other information such as hotels, parks, ATMs or subways. Unlike traditional mapping technologies, Keyhole creates a dynamic 3D interface for geographic information.

Keyhole's technology combines a multi-terabyte database of mapping information and images collected from satellites and airplanes with easy-to-use software.

Keyhole was founded in 2001. Keyhole customers include consumers, large and small businesses and public agencies. Current Keyhole users will benefit from the expanded resources and operational scale made possible by the integration into Google. Their service will continue uninterrupted.

What does it mean for Yes San Francisco and its customers?

Great! The world becomes more aware that the Earth is 3-dimentional. With all its steroids, bells, whistles, and tremendous amount of data and effort to collect it Keyhole product and services is just a map. A map of 21 century, but still a map. A map based on aerial views, but still a map. And Google treats it this way.

While Yes San Francisco Virtual W Tours contain a vital component - our and your artistic vision of Earth and Humanity. Keyhole is a new point of view from outside, Yes Virtual Tours is a new world where user is immersed. With Keyhole a user is a god, with Yes Virtual Tours the user is a human. Both complement each other in the Universe.

Keyhole is bound to represent Earth as close to reality as possible while Yes Virtual Tours allow you to create a new topology of Earth. Keyhole is continuous, Yes is discrete. And in between changing of pictures you as a creator of a tour introduce your own interpretation of continuity and action to amuse, relax, or surprise your audience. Keyhole is a tool, Yes is art.

Is Earth 3-dimentional? What about a dimension of history? A dimension of color, structure? A dimension of movement? A dimension of human expressions? A dimension of business life and political influence? Photography can cover and convey those dimensions, but aerial photography can not.

Both complement each other.

The Keyhole map can be only one. There can be as many virtual tours of the same place as many photographers.

Keyhole is great for us. It moves things forward: we live in a moving world! We live in a complex world! Let us open windows of our monitors to new dimensions!

 

 

Other blogs I might be interested in: http://ian.hixie.ch/

 

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