There is no fixed definition of a panorama, and etymologically it comes from the greek pan παν (all) + orama οραμα (sight) and refers to any wide angle image. In photography this is usually accepted to be any image with an aspect ratio greater than 2:1 (eg twice as wide as high or twice as high as wide) or with a field of view greater than that of the human eye (160°). A special type of panoramic image with a horizontal field of view of 360° and a vertical field of 180° is called a spherical panorama as it allows the viewer to see all around and are used in the immersive imagery part of this site.
Early panoramas were made either by taking several photographs and assembling, or stitching, them or by the use of a special camera with a rotating lens. Both methods are in use today, but film has generally been replaced by digital images that are manipulated by software. It is also now possible to visualise images on a screen or virtual reality glasses in ways that were not possible using paper based media.
The panoramas on this site are produced from several digital or scanned images and then stitched.