About Spherical Panorama Software
Spherical Panorama software is used by photographers to stitch together multiple shots to create one single photo which has a full vertical view as well as 360 degrees panorama. The software is able to blend the edges perfectly without giving the impressions that the photo is stitched.
Multiple Row Stitching
Spherical panorama software enables you to stitch multiple rows of shots so that you can get the full vertical 180 degrees angle along with several shots of the flat panorama. This will create a full 360 x 180 degree view. Due to this feature you can use lenses which have a limited Field of View and just take two or three shots to get the full 180 degree angle and that would determine the number of rows.
Various types of spherical panorama software provide different features. Some have automatic aligning and stitching features which allow you to take tilted or rotated images without being too concerned over the camera level. Such shots are effectively put together by the software. For manual control some software feature a layered output so that you can do minute adjustments over the stitched results.
There are various patents that protect the technique for producing stitched panorama from images taken by fisheye wide angle lens. There have also been a number of litigations where one company has sued another for infringement on the use of technique. It is not sure whether the customers of the companies under litigation are also liable. The bottom line is to use spherical panorama software which has the necessary patent rights that are valid.