What is maltain360.com?
maltain360.com is a website dedicated to 360 degree images of scenes and interesting locations in Malta and Gozo. Originally inspired by the emergence of 360 degree panoramic photography, maltain360.com quickly became the fastest growing repository of these 360 degree images.
The maltain360.com project is committed to spreading cultural awareness of the Maltese heritage's uniqueness and beauty and act as as a showcase for our islands.
Additionally, maltain360.com aims to combat the widely held yet completely erroneous idea that there is very little to see on the Maltese Islands. In fact, the Maltese are blessed with numerous hidden gems scattered all over their little country. Our repository of 360 degree images of interesting locations in Malta and Gozo, accompanied with GPS co-ordinates and correct, up to date information is aimed to counteract this belief.
How maltain360.com started
maltain360.com started out as an idea in late 2009. Driven by his interest in new technologies, Pierre Axiaq started experimenting with an emerging visual technology that combined his IT skills and experience with his love for photography. Following months of experimentation with hugely varying results, almost in disbelief, Pierre saw the first 360 degree equirectangular panorama take shape in front of his eyes, free from noticeable flaws.
Pierre showed his new achievement to George Borg, a workplace colleague and friend. George, a Software Engineer by profession, was instantly hooked to the idea of putting his web development skills to creating something beautiful out of this technology.
Both Pierre and George knew that many Maltese were not aware of the heritage that our islands hold, while other Maltese, although curious about their heritage, found it difficult to find reliable information about certain sites, sometimes not even the site's location. Research on the internet about the Maltese islands too often resulted in only the most commonly known sites being displayed.
At this point, the idea behind maltain360.com started getting fleshed out. Pierre and George set out to create an extensive online repository of interactive 360 degree images that showcased the richness of the Maltese heritage. All the interactive images would be accompanied by exact GPS co-ordinates and plotted on a Geographic Information System (GIS) so that anyone who wanted to visit the sites portrayed in the 360 degree images could know exactly were they are located. After much deliberation the project was dubbed "maltain360.com".
After much work and collaboration with bodies such as the Malta Tourism Authority, Heritage Malta, The Archbishop's Curia, Din L-Art Helwa, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and Wirt Ghawdex, the first version of the maltain360.com site was launched in March 2011. The overwhelmingly positive reaction took Pierre and George completely by surprise. The site buckled under the traffic and countless individuals wrote in to express their gratitude and fascination for the maltain360.com project.
With the help of the suggestions and contributions made, Pierre and George were able to launch a 2nd version of the maltain360.com website in October 2011. One year and a half on, the site boasts of over 200 360 degree images, spread through the 4 corners of the Maltese archipelago, and this number is still growing. Among the most popular of the 360 images are those of the Cottonera Lines, Buskett Gardens, the Malta Maritime Museum, the Police History Museum (also known as the Malta Crime Museum), Fawwara, the Grand Harbour breakwater bridge, the Floriana Granaries (known locally as il-Fosos), San Anton Palace, Selmun Palace, St John's Gate in Cottonera, the Argotti gardens, Simblija, the Archbishop's Curia in Floriana, Barrakka Gardens in Valletta and the Birkirkara St Helena Basilica.
What's next for maltain360.com?
We intend that maltain360.com keep growing and including more stunning 360 degree images of Malta and Gozo. We are in collaboration with a number of bodies, both governmental and NGOs and have a number of projects in various stages of completion. Be prepared for more exciting things with maltain360.com!