If you've logged in to Facebook in the past eight months, you've probably noticed an increasing number of 360-degree videos in your newsfeed. Thanks to new camera technology that records footage from every angle simultaneously, videography has officially entered the age of virtual reality.
360-degree cameras, which currently retail for $200 and up, are optimized for use with VR headsets such as Facebook's Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, but late last year Facebook and YouTube made it possible for users to interact with the videos on an ordinary computer or smartphone. Simply click, hold and move your mouse around to view multiple perspectives of a scene or experience.
Of course, just because we can record 360-degree imagery doesn't mean we should; as the blog Motion Array pointed out earlier this year, many of the photographers that have experimented with virtual reality cameras are still using them like ordinary cameras, placing all the most important visual information in one part of the scene and providing little else of interest for viewers to explore.
Fortunately, Canada has no shortage of vistas that are spectacular no matter which way you turn. Below, we've rounded up nine of the best 360-degree videos that showcase our country's beauty, diversity, and occasional quirkiness.
This video, posted by the Royal Canadian Air Force, provides a unique perspective of this year's Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill:
This video actually takes you inside the cockpit of a stuntplane as pilot Stefan Trischuk practices for the Wetaskiwin Air Show:
Explore this video to decide if you're brave enough to take on the WinSport Monster Zipline at Calgary's Olympic Park:
Few people want to be out on the water in the dead of winter, but thanks to this video you can drink in spectacular views of downtown Toronto from the Island ferry in the comfort of your own home:
Do yourself a favour and make sure you watch this 360-degree sunset helicopter tour of Vancouver in full-screen high definition:
RCGS Fellow George Kourounis shared his stunning still photographs of the wild horses of Sable Island with us, but here, you can see them in action:
If you liked the horses, you'll love these icebergs:
Ice canoeing on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal: crazy or awesome? Watch, then decide:
We saved the best for last. Lose yourself in this breathtaking 360-degree timelapse of the northern lights set to the music of Montreal pianist Roman Zavada: