Equirectangular Carousel with WebGL

Equirectangular photographs are photos taken with special equipment that captures the image as a projection on a spherical plane instead of a 2d rectangular plane. When rendered onto a sphere, the photo appears as a 3d experience for the viewer. As an experiment with webGL, I’ve made a carousel of spheres with equirectangular photos found on Flickr. The original hope was to load photos asynchronously from an equirectangular photo set on Flickr, but unfortunately at the time of creation, cross-domain restrictions with webGL prevent loading textures from an external url, and Flickr did not support CORS transactions.

You can click and drag the carousel, or spin it with inertia. Clicking on a sphere will zoom you inside the sphere where you can view the photo in 3D. Click and drag to look around the photo. The high-res view photos are very large and may take a while to load.

View Demo

(Note: demo only works in newer versions of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. The high-res view photos are very large and may take a while to load.)