There are three ways for a beginner to start with clicking a 360 degree photo or panorama photography. Google Street View, Special 360 degree camera and a DSLR. But first let us see what is a 360 degree photo. A 360 photos is technically called a 360 degree panorama picture
So we begin with understanding a panorama first.
A panorama is a series of images stitched together. Concept of panorama emerged almost two centuries ago. But modern technology has made it possible to click digital images and stitch them with software with ease. Here is an example of three images and then images stitched to form a panorama.
But the above photo is just a part of the panorama as there can be more information added to the left and right of the image.
Here is another example.
This panorama has as many as five images stitched together.
A panorama which is all the images in a complete circle is 180 degree panorama. These are also called as spherical panoramas.
For a panorama image of this width, you will need a special viewer to enjoy the details.
Alternately, it can be viewed on Google Maps.
360 Degree Panorama Picture
A 180 degree panorama picture is also the one which allows you to look around in a circle. But in order to look up and down you now need a spherical panorama picture which is also called 360 degree panorama picture. There is not too much you can make out in a 360 photo laid down flat. But on apps like FaceBook or Google Street View, they appear stunning. With the VR viewer, the immersive effect is complete.
First image is the spherical or 360 degree panorama picture in normal view.
The same image above looks complete in the viewer where you can see it from any angle by moving the mouse or the mobile phone.
Here is another image in normal view.
Here is how it looks on Google Maps.
It can also be displayed with a viewer as shown below.
There are a lot of panorama stitching software available but for a cylindrical panorama there are not much options.