Tempelfjord Panorama

This 360° view is composed of about a dozen pictures I took on 22 April 2013, on the sea ice of Svalbard’s Tempelfjord, in front of the Von Post glacier.

When taking pictures for a panorama, it is generally good practice to mount the camera on a tripod and keep settings unchanged between frames. The pictures used for this panorama were shot in full auto mode with a hand-held compact camera, and not post-processed in any way, which shows in the result.

The panorama was assembled with Hugin, an open-source panorama photo stitching program, and I think it did well considering the source material. Pictures with very high aspect ratio (width vs. height) are kind of awkward to display, but the Google Maps engine serves as a nice viewer. An application called GMap Image Cutter does the job of slicing the panorama into tiles suitable for the map engine, and also provides the necessary JavaScript framework for it.

On this particular panorama, I’ve added place marks to point out a few features around the fjord. The Norwegian Polar Institute has a nice topographical map of the area.

DHC-6 Twin Otter

The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter was one of the very first types of aircraft I travelled on, and is still the smallest one. Even the Do-228 has a considerably higher MTOW, though their capacity is equal at 19 passengers in the relevant configurations.

Widerøe Twin Otter at Leknes in 1992
Widerøe Twin Otter at Leknes in 1992 (Photo Felix Götting / Wikimedia Commons / GFDL-1.2)

Twin Otters, mainly operated by Widerøe (WF), were the backbone of operations on Norway’s extensive network of short-field airports for decades, providing a means of transportation between towns and villages and major airports where long distances and complicated topography makes rail or road transportation impractical.

Widerøe, which at one point was the world’s largest Twin Otter operator, introduced the aircraft in 1968, and retired their last one in 2000.

Air Berlin

Air Berlin, which is headquartered in Berlin, is Germany’s second largest airline in terms of passengers. At the time of its founding in 1978, it was headquartered in Miami, Florida, for legal reasons regarding post World War II regulation of air traffic in and out of Berlin.

Air Berlin fleet at Tegel
Air Berlin fleet at Tegel (Photo Christine Hepner / Creative Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The airline joined the Oneworld alliance in 2012, and I first travelled with them in June 2013, on a Boeing 737-700 out of their home base at Tegel.

Schönefeld (Berlin)

Schönefeld was the first airport I used in Berlin, September 2010 being the first time I visited.

Schönefeld in 2008
Schönefeld in 2008 (Photo Eio / Wikimedia Commons)

SXF used to be East Berlin’s only, and East Germany’s main civil airport. The airport will be closed when the “new” Brandenburg airport opens, and is the smaller of the two Berlin airports operational until then. Schönefeld is situated just inside the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds the city-state of Berlin, and is named for the nearby town. The new Brandenburg airport occupies the same locality as the old Schönefeld airport.

Tegel (Berlin)

Tegel was the second airport I used in Berlin. My first visit was in June 2013, at which time TXL was the busiest airport serving the German capital.

Tegel from the air in 2005
Tegel from the air in 2005. An additional terminal has since been built, top center in this picture.
(Photo Tim Pritlove / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-2.0)

Tegel, named for the locality in the north-west of the city where it is situated, is the main hub of Air Berlin, which I also flew for the first time from here. The airport will have been part of aviation history for more than a hundred years when it closes after Berlin’s “new” Brandenburg airport finally opens.