Wow, folks this is exciting news! Months ago I registered with the Global Connection Project (a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University, NASA, Google, and National Geographic) for possible inclusion in their GigaPan beta program – a piece of robotic photography equipment that takes GigaPixel panoramic photos using standard digital camera equipment. Well, I just got notification that my application was accepted and I’ll be one of the first people on the planet to get my hands on one of these babies! Yee-haw!
Here is a little description of the GigaPan straight from the Web site:
GigaPan consists of three technological developments: a robotic camera mount for capturing very high-resolution (gigapixel and up) panoramic images using a standard digital camera; custom software for constructing very high-resolution gigapixel panoramas; and, a new type of website for exploring, sharing and commenting on gigapixel panoramas and the detail our users will discover within them. The GigaPan website allows hosting and sharing all kinds of panoramas, and so the robotic GigaPan mount is recommended but is certainly not required to be part of this community.
What the heck does all this mean? Well, imagine looking at a digital photo and wanting to zoom in for more detail. You probably know that a 10 megapixel photo will give you pretty good resolution. Now just imagine 100 times greater resolution than that! No, wait! Don’t just imagine it – try it out yourself with the sample below! It reminds me of Harrison Ford’s character in the movie Blade Runner…
Click your mouse inside the photo, then you can use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out, and click and drag within the photo to move it around. If your mouse doesn’t have a scroll wheel, just use the zoom bar in the top left corner of the picture to zoom in and out.
Incredible huh? Well, that is what happens when you use a robot to snap a hundred or more zoomed in photos of a scene, then use special software to stitch them all together into one giant image. And now my GigaPan unit is on the way so I’ll be able to start trying it out when it gets here.
I sure wish I had this when I went to Denver, Hawaii, Greece, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and other places. But at least I’ll have it for future trips, and of course I’ll take a bunch of great panoramas to share with you guys.
Stay tuned for more panoramic fun!