And the Winner Is...

Now that I have found my original, final panoramas for Virtual Antietam, it is time to decide which software I will use to stitch together the master scene. We are talking 128 panoramas plus, well, plus a whole lot of everything, kitchen sink included.

I am excited to say that after seven years away from this project, I am going to use the exact same software I had decided on in 2006 when I first did some scene tests. I spent the last few days falling in and out of love with a half-dozen software packages, but I have come back home to Pano2VR Pro.

I won't bore you with why Tourweaver, Panotour, and others, just did not cut muster, but suffice it to say that I am excited beyond belief at how mature this software is. And the most exciting feature for me is the integration with GPS and Google Maps.

The revelation I had last night was that I did not know that battlefield as well as I had thought. Using GPS to align my panoramas is important because I am trying to create a realistic and accurate model of the battlefield, and what I am finding is that, say, when I am standing by the Cornfield on the Indiana State Monument, the Joseph Poffenberger farm, which is out of view, is not quite where I thought it was.

It may seem like a small thing, but I spend a lot of time pointing towards this and that, and to find out that my orientation is a bit off can be jarring. The good news is that once I start to dial Virtual Antietam in, the relation of battlefield sites to each other should be easier to get right.

At Antietam, we guides talk a lot about how hard it was for combatants to have had any idea what was going on behind those trees, especially having just stumbled upon the place for the first time. It is interesting to find out that, even after tromping around Antietam Battlefield for over a decade, I am still not quite sure exactly what is "behind those trees."