These notes are attached to this (special edition as the HOME Site of Camo Rama) "Featured Location App" to explain some of the available enhancements when a slowweb.tours app is made locally and our photographic identity Camo Rama (herein "I/Me/My ") can add to the wealth of resources from Google Earth Pro and Google Maps in what Google terms "a Third Party Site".
Also for the record in Google terminology Camo Rama is listed as a "Local Guide Level 5" and "a trusted professional for hire" (signified by the green tick). However there are several other features that I use shown above that are outside of the Google umbrella.
The Featured Location of this example is a small "rest stop/community facility" in Far North Queensland (FNQ) Australia at Wonga on the road from Mossman to Daintree, all of that about 100 km North of Cairns. As far as Google is concerned it has an entry on Google Maps that looks like this as of Sept 2018:
Scrolling down that page the panoramas I have taken and Published to Street View are already featured, so our app provides "instant access tabs" to those (plus other) panoramas as well as the other features below.
So that is the "Google System that connects the whole world" where we/I have simply joined in with others in the community to add comments, photos, panos and in fact could add this site as well, subject to permission (and even remuneration?) from the Douglas Shire Council. On the other hand, since the boom times of my namesake "throwing another shrimp on the barbie" one might assume that Australia is trying to keep itself a secret.
And that leads to an interesting historical fact that if you select Tab 6 you will see a rather inferior pano that proves that Google selected FNQ as a "flavour/flavor of the month" location in the very first trials of Street View technology back in 2007. They returned in 2016 with their much improved technology but this tiny section did not get an update for reasons unknown.
But back to the frame above, the default panorama is the result of selecting Tab 7 and is NOT a Google presentation (that is shown via Tab 7a) but our alternate method we use where it is appropriate to do a "sweeping list" of the various features of a location. We use a green shadow on the tab to indicate this format so you can also select the other green shadow at Tab 13 to view the magnificent sea/beach panorama of 20 km (as the Barra swims) from Snapper Island to Port Douglas.
Then Tab 8 is a pano I Published to Google which shows the connecting path between the park and sea. These Google format panos are indicated with a grey shadow, so similarly for Tabs 3, 4, 11 & 12.
And for a different type of pano (or simply a video) I have invested in a "gimbal" device to provide very smooth professional standard videos and Tab 5 (with red shadow) is an example.
To simply display a sign a still image is preferable and Tabs 2, 10 & 14 are examples.
The "footprint" of a 360 deg spherical pano has long been viewed (pun intended) as a necessary evil and virtually for the full 11 years from the example in Tab 6 Google has used an auto clone (of the road ahead/behind) to blot out the Google car, but never fooling anyone and generally being visible in the default view Google choses. Then using the Trekker backpack the same cloning of a track etc proved to be less desirable because of the lack of height of the camera.
BUT in very recent times Google has started to move to new ideas about more community involvement.
Perhaps because this potentially saves Google many billions of dollars they are taking a new attitude to what happens in the nadir of a pano which allows some promotional value for the person contributing the pano. As Camo Rama I am trialling several options such as the camo hat shown in Tab 3 which sort of blends in with the pop-art of the kids at the skateboard area. I am uncertain how the rules might see the green tick but it can be removed if requested.
Tab 7a uses a plain straw hat and Tab 16 uses a helmet similar to the one in the video. As an alternative to using a 360 degree camera (mine is a Ricoh Theta) Tab 15 shows the result (no footprint at all) using my mobile phone, but with a far more time consuming process and one which had my physiotherapist throw up her hands in horror at "doing the Limbo". In other words that method is now out for me since I bought the Ricoh and recovered from my sciatica, but is still viable for "younger people".
UPDATE - Dec 2018 - Tab 17 shows the view using a bike (with camera on hat and iphone mounted on handlebars). Then Tab 18 shows an upmarket hat at $3.99 which is very colourful and has the smallest footprint of all hats because of the height, and Tab 19 is a $4.99 "cowboy?" hat. And here is a picture of the hats we have used so far in our experiments.
Finally the car and as my car is open I am able to hoist the Ricoh high above (1200 mm or 4 foot at present) on a pole and you can see the result in Tab 1 which is right beside the position of the 2007 Google car pano at Tab 7a. This was taken using the "interval timer" function (8 seconds is the minimum) and Tab 9 shows a later photo in this same interval sequence at about 60 MPH.
Because of the height of the camera position (and the squat nature of the car) the image of the car is quite small and well within "Antarctica" and seems in keeping with the themes of the Google video above. As seen I have used some bright plastic letters to display PANO RAMA across the sun visors (and once again I might remove the green tick?) which can be faced down if no "branding" is desired. I have even bought camo seat covers and wear a camo hat to complete the picture.
But as always, as long as the pano itself entices people to rotate the pano to see more, they will not generally have any desire to poke around in the zenith or nadir. But if needed our alternate pano presentation allows the "Marker Facility" to go straight to "....... panorama by Camo Rama" (or any other designated feature).
The quality of the actual panos taken from the car is similar to normal Google car panos (and in fact do not have any stitching aberrations) but we would generally simply use the Google car panos in our apps IF available.
And there are quite a few areas just north of this location (past the iconic Daintree Ferry) where the Google car has not ventured so using my own car in this manner may be a very handy option to have.
For completeness, although not directly involving Camo Rama, we have included examples of our custom Fly Overs as well as our pre-programmed Sat Nav helpers.