I'm interested in making streetview panoramas and am curious if there are any opensource approaches that I should consider for both making and publishing these panoramas.

I've been playing with the Android functionality on my phone to make Android Photospheres (using a camera app SDK - here for the curious). These can be published in a streetview-like panorama via Google. This works, and is nifty but it requires Google to approval the panorama for it to be published online.

Another approach is to generate my own tiled grid of photos and use the google stretview api: https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/streetview#StreetViewOverlays

I'd much rather produce these using some opensource tools, so I'm not completely locked into Google. In this interview with Steve Coast from OpenStreetMap, he refers to a device you can put on your phone which will result in streetview like imagery. Is there a recommended way for this imagery be collected, stored, stitched together and shared?


There is also a new service, http://www.mapillary.com. As a cloud service not open source per se but totally crowd-driven, see e.g. http://www.mapillary.com/map/im/RCjKOg0pSUhwCzH6-3Dk6A, and active in the relevant OSS communities on contributing improvements to e.g. OpenCV, Neo4j and others.

Disclaimer - I am helping building this service.

  • Very cool, I look forward to playing with it more! – djq Feb 17 '14 at 17:52
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    I do not fully understand their licensing policy. Are all user-submitted photos CC-BY-SA licensed but with a special permission for Mapillary company to re-license any photos under a (closed) commercial license so they can make money from it? – Kozuch Jul 7 '14 at 18:03
  • @Kozuch Yes, it looks like users grant them a CLA (Contributor License Agreement) which basically lets them use it however they wish (including for proprietary services): "You and each Mapillary User hereby grant to us the perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid-up, sublicensable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of, perform, display and distribute without restriction (including via any medium) Content, in whole or in part, for commercial and non-commercial purposes, including"... – Matthew Flaschen Nov 21 '14 at 8:02
  • @Kozuch In addition to the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license for photos, metadata from the content can also be incorporated into ODbL works, including OpenStreetMap. – Matthew Flaschen Nov 21 '14 at 8:31
  • Ok, but do they have to release it under cc-by-sa along with using it with their "proprietary license"? I mean will the photos I may contribute still remain copylefted for the general public? – Kozuch Nov 21 '14 at 9:52

Well AFAIK there is currently no single Open Source solution for both of the steps to create an free Google Streetview replacement. But IMHO there are a few approaches that try to create some building blocks for crowdsourced/VGI approach on that topic:

  1. Recording
    This includes the camera hardware, camera control and panorama stitching:

  2. Sharing
    If a crowd wants to share the results, you need a central platform that supports single steps (requesting, sharing single fotos, importing fotos, stitching panoramas, ...).


There was a presentation at last year's State of the Map conference in San Francisco by the founder of CustomStreetView, a site that lets you use streetview imagery for adding things to OpenStreetMap (Google's licensing strictly prohibits that). You can upload your own imagery to that site. The author is on StackExchange.

Talking to him could give you some ideas!

  • customstreet view no longer working. – Pacerier Aug 25 '16 at 5:39
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    These days I'd recommend Mapillary for the same purpose. – Elliott Nov 29 '17 at 5:19

You can use hugin panorama creator to stitch together a series of images as a single rectangular image.

You can use a leaflet map to display a 360 degree panorama with this image, which you can pan and zoom. You can also add markers to points of interest in the panorama.

I have written a tutorial that explains how to do this at https://peter-thomson.com/leaflet-map-tutorial/leaflet-map-tutorial-how-to-add-markers-and-popups-to-an-image-or-diagram-displayed-using-leaflet.html

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