Sorry for my criticism but it's constructive: why is the sea downhill?
Part I of III: Not a problem. As far as I know it is due to the wide angle of the panorama. Part of it may be due to the actual curvature of the Earth but part of it may be due to a "distortion" that results from the panorama having two axis of rotation. One recent example is 360 at Seattle Blvd S and 4th Ave S which is just a full circle panorama, but perhaps the best example I have so far is Near Sphere Panorama of Waterfront Park (Big... 4 MB).
Part II of III: A single axis of rotation won't get you that, and the wider the solid angle the greater the distortion. The field of view is spherical, and you can't project a sphere on to a flat surface without distortion. So in my really wide angle panoramas you see the "distortion." Here is another, but viewed two different ways: 5th and University, 5th and University (Looking Up). This is a hemispherical panorama, but in the second, more realistic view the top of the panorama has been wrapped around the North Pole of the sphere. So it looks like you are looking up through a manhole.
Part III of III: Then here is the earlier near sphere viewed wrapped the same way then the other way, wrapped around the south pole: Waterfront Park II, Waterfront Park III. In a certain respect I regard these wider angle panoramas as being truer to reality - and closer to the way that a dragonfly sees the world. As I would like to see it.
Finally, you can use the distortion to considerable artistic effect. One example I like is
Light and Darkness which can be interpreted symbolically/metaphorically along either biblical or scientific lines.
Moira says that is how the water actually looked to her. The panorama was nearly a half circle and the water Elliot Bay. Still, it didn't look quite that curved to me. And with a near half circle (180 degrees) horizontally and perhaps 45 degrees vertically you are definitely going to be seeing some curvature on account of two axis of rotation.
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Photo taken in Interbay, Seattle, WA, USA
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