• Miner cabin in Bodie, California
    This 360 panorama is of a Miner cabin in Bodie, California

VirtualParks.org site


About the VirtualParks.org site

Site architecture

From inception the site has been optimized for performance, consisting of thousands of flat html files, with the panoramic scene files written out from a database and uploaded via ftp. The 2013 version of the site was created in Coda, with assistance from Foundation, Hammer, Compass, TypeKit, and Anvil. A database and/or CMS has been considered at many points along the way, but that approach would be much more costly to host for the large amount of traffic the site gets.


In late 1995 I made some sketches of the site design, then implemented it using BBedit and PageMill in early 1996, with graphics done in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Sometime in 1997 I added a frame to provide constant site-wide navigation (even though I didn't like frames that well, it seemed like a good approach given there was a lot of scrolling material on the site). In 1998 I renamed the site VirtualParks.org and migrated the identity from "Erik's Maps and QTVRs." A Search capability was added in 1999, and in 2000 the frames were finally removed. The look and feel was updated in 2001 using Macromedia Dreamweaver, and BBedit v6.5.


I want to thank Greg Merrell and Lance Tucker for generously supporting VirtualParks, and generally being a great friend... thanks to Mark Elliot for photographic advice early on... thanks to Brian Reid for support early on, thanks to Bob Taylor for encouraging me to present the early version of the site to the researchers at SRC, thanks to David Plotnikoff for writing about VirtualParks, and thanks to everyone who has contributed their ideas and feedback regarding this project.


For a different panorama every day, visit VRlog.com, which works in all popular browsers and supports fullscreen viewing and WebVR.