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PanGazer – sharing images


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General settings

Setting North

Saving views

Saving images

Sharing images

Image geography

Show image location


Spherical fills


Aspect ratio

Making panoramic images

The gnomonic projection

Coordinate formats

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Command line options

Saved metadata


This page contains some notes about sharing images, in particular sharing spherical 360° images on various platforms.  Inevitably, as the platforms are constantly changing these notes will become inaccurate.

Please let me know what’s unclear, or has become wrong, here, so I can improve this page and enhance PanGazer to make it easier to share images.


All images saved by PanGazer can be uploaded to ‘social media’ and other applications just like any other image.  Further, some platforms and applications (including Flickr, Google Maps, and FaceBook) are able to display spherical panorama images and allow you to pan around them, like PanGazer.

Applications that can display spherical images typically have size limits and other requirements for uploaded images (see “Application requirements” below for specific applications).  Assuming you have an existing spherical panorama (similar to the PanGazer ‘starter’ image – see also Making panoramic images), follow the steps below.

Note that if you want to adjust the colouring, contrast, etc., of a panorama using some other program then it is best to do that before starting these steps.

  1. Set and check the geographical position of the image.  If the image already has its geographical position set (usually true for drone images) there will normally be a ‘Geo:’ line in the PanGazer static (bottom-right) status.  If not you can manually add it using the Image Geography dialog.  Use programs such as MapGazer or Google Maps to determine or check the coordinates of the image.

  2. Set North for the image.  If the image has North set you should see compass bearings overlaid at the top of the screen and the status at top right will show a compass point and bearing (rather than a heading angle).  Note that these displays can be turned off explicitly or temporarily turned on/off using the Space Bar – see the General Settings page for details.

    If North is not set, you should set it (see the Setting North page for details).  Some platforms require that North be set and others will probably make use of the information in due course.

  3. Save the image (with the options of changing its size and expanding it to a full sphere).  To do this, use the ImageResize image and save as ... menu option (or press Ctrl-r).  This will open a dialog (see the Saving images page for a screen shot and more details) in which you can:

    • Adjust the size of the image:
      In general, drone panorama images are large (typically 20,000 pels (pixels) wide, or more) and are too large or are unnecessarily detailed for many applications.  It is often wise, therefore, to save the image at a reduced size – to do this change either the X or the Y dimension (e.g., set the X dimension to 10000).

    • Expand a part-spherical panorama to a full sphere:
      Drone panorama images are often limited to around 40° above the horizon but some applications (e.g., FaceBook) require that the image be a ‘true sphere’ (provide data for the full 90° above and below the horizon).  PanGazer (in the Window title, for example) describes a full sphere as ‘360 sphere’ and a part-spherical image as ‘360 spherical’.  In the latter case the Save dialog will offer a pre-checked option to Expand this 360 image to full sphere before save; you can un-check this to save the image as-is with just a size change.

    When ready to save, click the Save button.  Whenever a spherical image is saved, PanGazer will add Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) metadata including the known or default image geography and direction of view when you saved the image, because many applications require that XMP metadata.

    If the image dimensions were changed or the image was expanded the saved image will then be opened in a new window so you can check or modify it; again, see the Saving images page for more details.

Application requirements

The requirements enforced by applications are generally poorly documented (sometimes inconsistently) and change over time, so please take these notes as ‘best guess’ – and do please let me know of anything that needs correcting!

  • Flickr
    Just upload the image saved as described above (with expand to sphere) using the ‘Upload photo’ icon at top right while viewing ‘You’ (your photostream). There does not seem to be a size limit.

  • FaceBook
    Just upload the image saved as described above (with expand to sphere) using the ‘Photo/Video’ button or icon when creating a post.  There now (2022) seems to be a size limit of around 25MB, and in any case it is worth aiming for that size to reduce upload time.  Note also that Facebook may choose an arbitrary centre point (unrelated to North, the centre of the image, or the saved view direction – although the latter is normally used).

    Note: 360° images only seem to be recognised by FB in ‘new’ posts; the same image attached to a Reply, or added to a Comment, etc., is treated as a ‘flat’ image.

  • Google Street View and Google Maps
    Google Street View and Maps show uploaded images using a small blue circle on Street View (use the Street View app on a smartphone or click on the ‘little yellow figure’ while browsing Google Maps). Once you have contributed an image to Google Street View or Google Maps, anyone can find it and view it as a 360 panorama.

    Google applies a size limit on uploaded images.  Various Google sites describe different limits, but images up to 12,000 pels wide seem to be acceptable (the image dimensions are shown in the status area at bottom right of the PanGazer screen).  If your saved image is wider than this try reduction to perhaps X: 10000 first (see above); if this is too large the image will be ‘rejected by server’ when you upload it – in this case, try a smaller size.

    Google Street View and Maps do accept spherical (part-sphere) images saved by PanGazer.  However, the ‘missing’ data above the drone’s angle of view is shown with a black fill; PanGazer’s algorithm to expand to full-sphere is usually preferable.

    The uploading interface to Google Street View and Maps has changed several times in recent years.  As of November 2021:

    1. using the Street View app on a phone, click on the camera+/create icon then ‘import 360 photos’ then use the menu on the resulting page to choose a source for images.  Select the images you would like to appear on Street View, and then touch ‘Publish’ on each to upload them.  Once processed and published, it can take some days before they appear on the map.  Panoramas published in this way seem to use the GPS data in the image correctly.

    2. using a browser, open Google Maps and search for the place (e.g., a village name or other feature) where you want to add your image. Once found, then if it has photos (you may need to click on ‘All’, or another tab, or an existing marker on the map) there should be a ‘camera +’ icon; click on that to add your image.  If there are no photos shown there should a an ‘Add photo’ button to click; alternatively, you might be able to add a new Place.  Once you have submitted your image it may take a day or more for it to be added to the Place. Note that with this method the photo will be positioned at the selected Place and the actual GPS information in the image seems to be ignored.

    As an example, you can view the PanGazer starter image using Google Maps: Search for “Bejes, Spain” », click on the ‘little yellow figure’ and scroll right to 225m due East of the car parking area at the southern entrance to the village (and about 100m SSW of the church); you should see a small blue circle.  Clicking on the circle should display the panorama.  This upload of the starter image, saved as a sphere, was done using the Google Street Map app from a mobile phone.

  • Twitter and Instagram
    These applications do not seem to be able to display 360° spherical panoramas.

Do let me know of any others that you have tested and that could be added to this list.

PanGazer and these web pages were written by Mike Cowlishaw; Please send me any corrections, suggestions, etc.
All content Copyright © Mike Cowlishaw, 2014–2024, except where marked otherwise.  All rights reserved. The pages here, and the PanGazer program, are for non-commercial use only.
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This page was last updated on 2023-10-28 by mfc.