Panoramic Photography is growing by leaps and bounds
A member of the Panoguide forum, after noting a decrease in forum activity, asked if interest in panoramas is declining. A simple question but very important one as many people do not realize how far reaching panoramic photography is. Panoramic photography as never been so popular and it's growing by "heaps".
It is my belief activity (posting) in the social networking groups isn't a good barometer in determining levels of interest in this genre. Many questions already answered can be easily found by googling. Even our own forum sees less questions but gets more views. Also as more groups and networking resources open participation is more spread out.
We're also active in a few outside circles and most recently attended a conference involving 3D imaging technologies and this week a conference focusing on forensics. We've seen first hand how other industries are opening up and realizing the far spread applications of panoramic photography. The genre is rapidly moving forward spreading into many other areas to include Gigapixel high res imagery, Law Enforcement (forensics), Military (reconnaissance and tactical planning), NASA (mars rover), Engineering (survey and LIDAR), Governmental (geological mapping to security). Photogrammetry, and Immersive media (VR tours to street mapping), to name a few. Companies like Google are expanding 360 VR globally. Sony is seeking to meet needs as well with some surprises on the horizon. Nikon is reaching out to panoramic photographers and listening to their suggestions. Even conferences and events which focus on panoramic photography such as IVRPA in NYC and Panotools in NL quickly fill to capacity. Speakers are already lining up for the IVRPA event 11 months away in Iceland.
As hardware manufactures and software developers continually strive to meet the needs of end users, setups and workflows become easier which results in fewer questions having to be asked.
I envision in the not to distant future the majority of photographers and industries which use digital cameras will have a panoramic tripod head (manual and/or automatic) of one sort or another.