Panoramic imaging has important implications in robotics, computer vision and virtual reality. This paper reviews representative work in the design and development of 2D/3D panoramic image capturing systems, the advancement of auto-calibration, registration and corresponding techniques, stereo vision, 3D reconstruction and image-based rendering. The paper discusses the above work within four parts of the panoramic imaging process: capturing system, image processing for panoramic imaging, image stitching and 3D reconstruction, image-based rending and visualisation. The design and development of a panoramic system pays careful attention to the following issues: image capturing, image registration, camera calibration, feature extraction, image understanding and image stitching. The objective of this review paper is to summarise and compare some of the methods in the various stages and identify research topics and applications, which are at the forefront of this exciting and challenge field.