Full-horizon cylindrical projections of the optic array are in common use. One wonders whether the public actually profits from such pictorial information, since the space behind one's back does not exist in visual awareness. In an experiment, a test image included six persons located at the corners of an irregular hexagon centred at the camera. Two persons faced the camera, two turned their back to the camera and two others faced a direction at right angles to the camera. The distances to the camera were unequal and varied from 1 to 2 m. Participants were asked to draw a ground plan of the perceived configuration, including actors and camera, on the basis of viewing the picture. As with any picture there exist many possible interpretations, the ambiguity grows even more when the angular scope of the picture is unknown. Almost all naïve viewers parse this planispheric (Mercator) representation so as to have the whole scene in front of them, with the actors standing in a circle, facing each other. They take the viewpoint to be outside the circle. Only a few placed the viewpoint inside the circle, which is indeed another reasonable interpretation (in this case the actual one).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2018


  • panoramic vision
  • visual space
  • pictorial space
  • horizon


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