What are you looking at? It is called a Stereographic projection made from a 360° panorama built from 46 (more or less) pictures. This one was created from images taken at La butte aux canons (canon mound) which is one of the two highest locations of Bois de Vincennes (Paris’ eastern park). The place is visited by strollers who enjoy the sight of Château de Vincennes, and since its access path is very steep it also attracts intrepid runners and kamikaze mountain bikers.
The wee planets are created from a series of panoramic images taken 360 degrees around a point, and then pasted together to create a 360 x 180 panorama. This is then saved as an equirectangular projection. The stereographic projection (which is what is the final view) can be achieved with the mathmap plug-in for The Gimp. The vocabulary, makes it sound really complicated but if you are interested, I think if you step through the directions, patiently, that are provided here you might have some success. All the software is free and if you have a digital camera and a tripod you are set to go.
The panorama below is the base for the wee planet above. It is taken at Monument aux morts cambodgiens et laotiens.
This set (below) was taken inside a castle in Bratislava.
And this one (below) was photographed at the Église d’Auvers-sur-Oise. You can see a huge collection of more wee planets here.
I am thinking I might give this a try in some of the gardens that I am involved with. I am wondering if it would have any use in designing landscapes. What do you think? Is it worth a try for any other reason than just interesting to try out?