What is SawasdeeVR.com

SawasdeeVR.com provided free VR (Virtual Reality) contents (Originally based on Apple QuickTime Virtual Reality Technology). You can view over hundreds of interactive panorama images of Thailand. The panorama contents display 360 degree by 180 degree field of view, its intergraded Google sattelite map and navigation system to the destination. User can also embedded VR (Virtual Reality) contents into their own website and Webboard. There are also supported to popular social media website such as Facebook, Twitter and etc.

How does it work?

The Analysis of Two audiences, One Objective Strategies on SawasdeeVR.com
SawasdeeVR .com is a free Thailand virtual destination panoramic contents service provider. The website aims to promote Thailand’s tourism with interactive virtual scenes. The domain name is a combination of the Thai word, “Sawasdee”, which is a Thai greeting with VR, which is the abbreviation for Virtual Reality. The initial use of this technology was based on Apple QuickTime Virtual Reality technology (QTVR), an innovative mechanism based on QTVR technology, which introduces new way to explore places and objects. It allow users to control the field of view, camera angle in all directions from left to right and up and down, zoom field, and it has an animation-like quality like that of a video. This technology has become a new media for presentation beside the use of text, images, graphic, sound, video and interactivity. Later, it evolved into Adobe Flash technology and with the increase in popularity of the Internet and Flash, this technology also became an embraced type of media in allowing users on the web be able to access Panoramic Virtual Reality content anywhere in the world through the use of a web browser. Now, it has branched out and can be seen incorporated into various other platforms other than the personal computer on mobile devices such as Android phone as well as on popular iOS on iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Other than the awareness of this door of opportunity, we combine this knowledge with the consideration that Thailand is amongst one of world most favorite tourist destination with a great revenue stream flowing in from the tourism industry. In taking notes of the significant amount of tourists coming in from foreign countries such as France and Japan, Thailand still has significant chance to grow and expand in the tourism industry.
This leads us to the different types of promotion through the 21st century media, which is profoundly based on Internet technology. Most of content used on the tourist promotion website are text, images, sound and video. The number of websites or businesses that actually integrates or introduces new panoramic virtual reality scene into its contents is very low.
Many factors may play a part in this: such as the right combination for full effective use of the technology or perhaps the level of technical difficulty involved in the production for panoramic contents that requires a combination of photographic skill, technical programming skill, as well as expensive equipments such as cameras, lens, panorama head, and more. There is also the authoring and editing part, which requires even more sophistication skill in the field of design and programming to create a successful production for distribution. SawasdeeVR has the perfect blend of the following and in combining the recipe of art and technology together, we have the objective of promoting Thailand’s tourism industry through the use of panoramic virtual reality content as a key media to enhance the virtual web experience to convince tourist around the world to visit Thailand.

The Technicality behind SawasdeeVR.com
The website is based on Drupal Content Management System technology, divided into two parts, front office and back office. The front office is for users to view all of its contents in different categories, memberships, and database driven by panoramic images using KRpano as the main Flash based panoramic player. It also uses Google Map’s satellite mapping technology to display the location of destination for the convenience of viewers.
The back office provides the photographer with a platform to upload the equirectangular image, input the images details, and pin point the location on the satellite map by Google.
The website also intergrades social network plug-ins providing tools to support social media networking for integration with popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and some other forty social network sites.
Audiences of SawasdeeVR.com
SawasdeeVR.com aims for two major audience categories.
1. Direct audience as end user who can enjoy contents by directly viewing them on the website of SawasdeeVR .com just like visiting any other website

2. Indirect audience that access panoramic virtual reality contents from another website which embeds SawasdeeVR contents to their website. This includes websites such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand website (http://www.tourismthailand.org/home/) or other tourist agency websites that may like to have virtual reality content on their site.

How These works

Direct audiences
When an audience visits www.SawasdeeVR.com, they can explore panoramic virtual reality contents in 3 different fashions from the main menu.
1. Map: This part utilizes Google Map technology to display the maps of Thailand with 3 color pins: Purple for Attraction & Events, Green color for Hotel & Resorts and Blue for Restaurant & Services
Audiences can navigate the map by dragging the mouse and panning around the map. They can also zoom in and out on different levels of the map by dragging up and down on the scroll bar on the left or through the use of the scroll wheel on their mouse.
When audiences mouse over each pin, tooltip information of each location appears and when they mouse click on the pins, a balloon will pop up displaying a small thumbnail along with some short information on the location. After audience release mouse over the pin, virtual scene page will display.

2. Categories: The audience will access virtual scenes through three main groups

2.1 Attractions & Events: this group consists of major tourist attractions, culture places, temples, palaces, theme parks, mountain, beach, national parks, yearly festival, local ceremonies, and interesting events.

2.2 Hotel & Resort: this group consists of hotels and resort that are nearby tourist attraction.

2.3 Restaurant & Services: this group consists of restaurants, food markets, souvenir shops, and all kind of interesting service places.

3. Regions: Audience will access virtual scene through five groups of regions.

3.1 North - consisting of 17 provinces
1. เชียงใหม่ (Chiang Mai - 清迈)
2. เชียงราย (Chiang Rai - 昌莱)
3. กำแพงเพชร (Kamphaeng Phet - 甘烹碧)
4. ลำปาง (Lampang - 喃邦)
5. ลำพูน (Lamphun - 喃奔)
6. แม่ฮ่องสอน (Mae Hong Son - 夜丰颂)
7. นครสวรรค์ (Nakhon Sawan - 那空沙旺)
8. น่าน (Nan - 难)
9. พะเยา (Phayao - 碧瑶)
10. เพชรบูรณ์ (Phetchabun - 碧差汶)
11. พิจิตร (Phichit - 披集)
12. พิษณุโลก (Phit Sanulok - 彭世洛)
13. แพร่ (Phrae - 帕)
14. สุโขทัย (SuKhothai - 素可泰)
15. ตาก (Tak - 达)
16. อุทัยธานี (Uthai Thani - 乌泰他尼)
17. อุตรดิตถ์ (Utta Radit - 程逸)

3.2 Northeast - consisting of 19 provinces
1. อำนาจเจริญ (Amnat Charoen - 庵纳乍能)
2. บุรีรัมย์ (Buri Ram - 武里喃)
3. ชัยภูมิ (Chaiyaphum - 猜也奔)
4. กาฬสินธุ์ (Kalasin - 胶拉信)
5. ขอนแก่น (Khon Kaen - 孔敬)
6. เลย (Loei - 黎)
7. มหาสารคาม (Maha Sarakham - 吗哈沙拉堪)
8. มุกดาหาร (Muk Dahan - 莫拉限)
9. นครพนม (Nakhon Phanom - 那空帕农)
10. นครราชสีมา (Nakhon Rajcha Sima - 呵叻)
11. หนองบัวลำภู (Nong Bua Lumphu - 廊磨南蒲)
12. หนองคาย (Nongkai - 廊开)
13. ร้อยเอ็ด (Roi Et - 黎逸)
14. สกลนคร (Sakon Nakhon - 沙功那空)
15. ศรีสะเกษ (Si Saket - 四色菊)
16. สุรินทร์ (Surin - 素辇)
17. อุบลราชธานี (Ubon Rajchathani - 乌汶)
18. อุดรธานี (Udon Thani - 乌隆)
19. ยโสธร (Ya Sothon - 益梭通)

3.3 Center - consist of 19 provinces
1. อ่างทอง (Ang Thong - 红统)
2. กรุงเทพมหานคร (Bangkok - 曼谷)
3. ฉะเชิงเทรา (Cha Choeng Sao - 北柳)
4. ชัยนาท (Chai Nat - 猜纳)
5. กาญจนบุรี (Kanchana Buri - 北碧)
6. ลพบุรี (Lop Buri - 华富里)
7. นครปฐม (Nakhon Pathom - 佛统)
8. นนทบุรี (Nontha Buri - 暖武里)
9. ปทุมธานี (Pathum Thani - 巴吞他尼)
10. เพชรบุรี (Phetcha Buri - 佛丕)
11. พระนครศรีอยุธยา (Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya - 大城)
12. ประจวบคีรีขันธ์ (Prachuap Khiri Khan - 巴蜀)
13. ราชบุรี (Rajcha Buri - 叻丕)
14. สมุทรปราการ (Samut Prakan - 北榄)
15. สมุทรสาคร (Samut Sakhon - 龙仔厝)
16. สมุทรสงคราม (Samut Songkhram - 夜功)
17. สระบุรี (Sara Buri - 北标)
18. สิงห์บุรี (Sing Buri - 信武里)
19. สุพรรณบุรี (Suphan Buri - 素攀)

3.4 East – consist of 7 provinces
1. จันทบุรี (Chantha Buri - 尖竹汶)
2. ชลบุรี (Chon Buri - 春武里)
3. นครนายก (Nakhon Nayok - 那空那育)
4. ปราจีนบุรี (Prachin Buri - 巴真武里)
5. ระยอง (Rayong - 罗勇)
6. สระแก้ว (Sra Kiao - 萨缴)
7. ตราด (Trat - 桐艾)

3.5 South – consist of 14 provinces
1. ชุมพร (Chumphon - 春蓬)
2. กระบี่ (Krabi - 甲米)
3. นครศรีธรรมราช (Nakhon Sri Thamaraj - 洛坤)
4. นราธิวาส (Nara Thiwat - 陶公)
5. ปัตตานี (Pattani - 北大年)
6. พังงา (Phang Nga - 攀牙)
7. พัทลุง (Phatthalung - 博他仑)
8. ภูเก็ต (Phuket - 普吉)
9. ระนอง (Ranong - 拉农)
10. สตูล (Satun - 沙敦)
11. สงขลา (Songkhla - 宋卡)
12. สุราษฎร์ธานี (Surat Thani - 万仑)
13. ตรัง (Trang - 董里)
14. ยะลา (Yala- 惹拉)

Virtual Scene Page Features:
The entire navigation menu will lead audiences to the virtual scene page, which displays the key features of SawasdeeVR.com website along with the panoramic images.
The virtual scene page consists of a larger image of the thumbnail location along with a play button.
After audiences click the play button, the screen will display a loading bar with first, a lower resolution image so the audience can instantly view a general image of the panoramic image while it slowly loads into a full hi-resolution one.
At this point audiences can drag their mouse over virtual scenes to control the field of view along with directions from left to right or up and down. They can also zoom in and out by using the scroll wheels on the mouse or by pressing the minus or plus icons on the image. Audience will also see the rectangular icon next to the plus and minus icons, which when clicked is used to enable full screen mode. To exit the full screen mode, the audience merely presses on rectangle button again or the Esc button.
If an audience does nothing or leaves the mouse on idle for ten seconds, the panoramic image will automatically animate itself shifting from left to right to display a 360 degree view of the image.
On the top right of the virtual scene, audience will see a TAT logo that is clickable, which leads to the http://www.tourismthailand.org website. On the top left there will be a clickable THAI logo which leads to the http://www.thaiairways.com website or the current official supporter. There will also be a “Powered by SawasdeeVR.com” small link on the lower right corner, which leads to our http://www.sawasdeevr.com homepage.

Below the panoramic image is an “Embed in your web” feature. This feature is the most significant feature that contributes to make the “Two audiences One objective strategy” possible. This particular feature will allowed audience visitors to embed panoramic images into their webpage. The “Embed in your web” function is a code generator, which supports two main web page technologies.

1. The first set will support standard html website and CMS website.


SawasdeeVR.com

2. The second set supports SMF web board.
[html]

SawasdeeVR.com[/html]

Audience also can customize the size of panoramic display, height and width, by adjusting the pixel dimension settings.
1. Change the height ='450' to height = '....' in pixels or percentage(%).
2. Change the width ='100%' to width = '....' in pixels or percentage(%).

After the user utilizes the “Embed in your web” option, both the thumbnail image and author name will be visible. There are also poll results and ratings options that allow users to votes and share to social network buttons, which allows you to embed and share panoramic images and URL links in popular social network, such as Facebook and Twitter and many other social network sites.

The other feather is Location, which is powered by Google Map technology, which help audiences to navigate the map and location of the panoramic images through the use of arrow keys, mouse over, or scroll bars. You can view the map in three modes.

With all these functionality and the conceptual strategy of two audiences one objective, SawasdeeVR aims to drive Thailand’s tourism to the next level.

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Appendixes
Apple QuickTime Virtual Reality QuickTime VR (virtual reality) (also known as QTVR) is a type of image file format supported by Apple's QuickTime. It allows the creation and viewing of photographically captured panoramas and the exploration of objects through images taken at multiple viewing angles. It functions as a plugin for the standalone QuickTime Player, as well as working as a plugin for the QuickTime Web browser plugin. QuickTime VR will play on Windows computers as well as Apple Macintosh computers. Apple continues to include QuickTime VR in its QuickTime technology. Many software companies create authoring applications to create QuickTime VR content.
Panoramic photography is a technique of photography, using specialized equipment or software, that captures images with elongated fields of view. It is sometimes known as wide format photography. The term has also been applied to a photograph that is cropped to a relatively wide aspect ratio. While there is no formal division between "wide-angle" and "panoramic" photography, "wide angle" normally refers to a type of lens, but using this lens type does not necessarily make an image a panorama. An image made with an ultra wide angle fisheye lens covering the normal film frame of 1:1.33 is not automatically considered to be a panorama. An image showing a field of view approximating, or greater than, that of the human eye – about 160° by 75° – may be termed panoramic. This generally means it has an aspect ratio of 2:1 or larger, the image being at least twice as wide as it is high. The resulting images take the form of a wide strip. Some panoramic images have aspect ratios of 4:1 and sometimes 10:1, covering fields of view of up to 360 degrees. Both the aspect ratio and coverage of field are important factors in defining a true panoramic image.
Photo-finishers and manufacturers of Advanced Photo System (APS) cameras use the word "panoramic" to define any print format with a wide aspect ratio, not necessarily photos that encompass a large field of view. In fact, a typical APS camera in its panoramic mode, where its zoom lens is at its shortest focal length of around 24 mm, has a field of view of only 65°, which many photographers[who?] would only classify as wide angle, not panoramic.
Krpano - is a small, versatile and high-performance viewer for interactive 3D panoramas on the web. It is based on the cross platform Adobe Flash Player, the world's most popular software platform for interactive software. The krpano Flash Panorama Viewer offers many unique possibilities - an adjustable "fisheye" lens effect for a more realistic representation at greater field of view, the support of very large panoramas (several giga-pixel), script controlled virtual tours and it is upgradable (develop your own plugins).
Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements and games. More recently, it has been positioned as a tool for "Rich Internet Applications" ("RIAs").

Flash manipulates vector and raster graphics to provide animation of text, drawings, and still images. It supports bidirectional streaming of audio and video, and it can capture user input via mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera. Flash contains an Object-oriented language called Action Script.
Flash content may be displayed on various computer systems and devices, using Adobe Flash Player, which is available free of charge for common web browsers, some mobile phones and a few other electronic devices (using Flash Lite).
Some users feel that Flash enriches their web experience, while others find the extensive use of Flash animation, particularly in advertising, intrusive and annoying, giving rise to a cottage industry that specializes in blocking Flash content. Flash has also been criticized for adversely affecting the usability of web pages.

A content management system (CMS) is the collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual or computer-based. The procedures are designed to do the following:
Allow for a large number of people to contribute to and share stored data. Control access to data, based on user roles (defining which information users or user groups can view, edit, publish, etc.)
Aid in easy storage and retrieval of data
Reduce repetitive duplicate input
Improve the ease of report writing
Improve communication between users
In a CMS, data can be defined as nearly anything: documents, movies, pictures, phone numbers, scientific data, and so forth. CMSs are frequently used for storing, controlling, revising, semantically enriching, and publishing documentation. Serving as a central repository, the CMS increases the version level of new updates to an already existing file. Version control is one of the primary advantages of a CMS.
Drupal is a free and open source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It is used as a back-end system for at least 1% of all websites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.
The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal core, contains basic features common to CMSs. These include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS-feeds, page layout customization, and system administration. The Drupal core installation can be used as a brochureware website, a single- or multi-user blog, an Internet forum, or a community website providing for user-generated content.
Over 7000 (as of November 2010) free community-contributed addons, known as contrib modules, are available to alter and extend Drupal's core capabilities and add new features or customize Drupal's behavior and appearance. Because of this plug-in extensibility and modular design, Drupal is sometimes described as a content management framework.[3][8] Drupal is also described as a web application framework, as it meets the generally accepted feature requirements for such frameworks.
Although Drupal offers a sophisticated programming interface for developers, no programming skills are required for basic website installation and administration.
Drupal runs on any computing platform that supports both a web server capable of running PHP 4.4.0+ (including Apache, IIS, Lighttpd, and nginx) and a database (such as MySQL, PostgreSQL or SQLite) to store content and settings. Drupal 7 requires PHP 5.2 or higher.

Android is a mobile operating system initially developed by Android Inc. Android was bought by Google in 2005. Android is based upon a modified version of the Linux kernel. Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance collaborated on Android's development and release.[6][7] The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android.
In Q4 2010 the Android O.S. was the world's best-selling smartphone platform, dethroning Nokia's Symbian from the 10 year top position, according to Canalys.
Android has a large community of developers writing application programs ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. There are currently over 200,000 apps available for Android. Android Market is the online app store run by Google, though apps can be downloaded from third-party sites (AT&T does not permit installing third-party apps, or "sideloading", on any of their Android devices). Developers write primarily in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries.
The unveiling of the Android distribution on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 79 hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache License, a free software and open source license.
The Android operating system software stack consists of Java applications running on a Java-based, object-oriented application framework on top of Java core libraries running on a Dalvik virtual machine featuring JIT compilation. Libraries written in C include the surface manager, OpenCore media framework, SQLite relational database management system, OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics API, WebKit layout engine, SGL graphics engine, SSL, and Bionic libc. The Android operating system consists of 12 million lines of code including 3 million lines of XML, 2.8 million lines of C, 2.1 million lines of Java, and 1.75 million lines of C++.

iOS (known as iPhone OS prior to June 2010) is Apple's mobile operating system. Originally developed for the iPhone, it has since been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV. Apple does not license iOS for installation on third-party hardware. As of January 14, 2011 (2011 -01-14), Apple's App Store contains more than 300,000 iOS applications, which have collectively been downloaded more than 10 billion times. In the last quarter of 2010, it had a 16% share of the smartphone operating system market in terms of units sold, third behind Google's Android and Symbian. As of May 2010 it accounted for 59% of mobile web consumption (not including the iPad) in North America.
The user interface of iOS is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements consist of sliders, switches, and buttons. The response to user input is immediate and provides a fluid interface. Interaction with the OS includes gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch, all of which have specific definitions within the context of the iOS operating system and its multitouch interface. Internal accelerometers are used by some applications to respond to shaking the device (one common result is the undo command) or rotating it in three dimensions (one common result is switching from portrait to landscape mode).
iOS is derived from Mac OS X, with which it shares the Darwin foundation, and is therefore a Unix-like operating system, by nature.
In iOS, there are four abstraction layers: the Core OS layer, the Core Services layer, the Media layer, and the Cocoa Touch layer. The operating system uses roughly 500 megabytes of the device's storage, varying for each model.

Equirectangular image The equirectangular projection (also called the equidirectional projection, equidistant cylindrical projection, geographic projection, plate carrée or carte parallelogrammatique projection or CPP) is a very simple map projection attributed to Marinus of Type, who Ptolemy claims invented the projection about AD 100. The projection maps meridians to equally spaced vertical straight lines, and circles of latitude to evenly spread horizontal straight lines. The projection is neither equal area nor conformal. Because of the distortions introduced by this projection, it has little use in navigation or cadastral mapping and finds its main use in thematic mapping. In particular, the plate carrée has become a de-facto standard for computer applications that process global maps, such as Celestia and NASA World Wind, because of the particularly simple relationship between the position of an image pixel on the map and its corresponding geographic location on Earth.

Google Maps (formerly Google Local) is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google, free (for non-commercial use), that powers many map-based services, including the Google Maps website, Google Ride Finder, Google Transit, and maps embedded on third-party websites via the Google Maps API. It offers street maps, a route planner for traveling by foot, car, or public transport and an urban business locator for numerous countries around the world. Google Maps satellite images are not in real time; they are several months or years old.

Google Maps uses a close variant of the Mercator projection, so it cannot show areas around the poles. A related product is Google Earth, a stand-alone program which offers more globe-viewing features, including showing polar areas.

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Author: Vorapoj Songcharoen
Education:
1995 Advance Certificate in Multimedia Developing with QuickTime Virtual Reality, Apple Developer University, San Jose, CA, USA
1992 Master of Fine Art, Specialized in Design, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, USA
1988 Bachelor of Fine Art, Faculty of Fine and Applied Art, Specialized in Photographic Art, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.