Microsoft creates a 20 gigapixel photo panorama of Seattle

Microsoft's Photosynth technology allows anyone to merge a number of 2D photographs together to create an impressive looking panoramic image. Now that same technology has been used to create a new 360 degree look at the city of Seattle made from merging 2,368 separate 22 megapixel images to form one 20 gigapixel panorama.

The Gigapixel ArtZoom website shows the result of this effort by Microsoft Research. The team found a rooftop on a condominium in downtown Seattle from which to take the pictures for the overall panorama in October 2013. The images were all taken with a Canon digital SLR camera that had a professional 400 mm lens. The team also used a Gigapan robotic tripod head.

Additional photos were taken from the same location, but this time they were aimed at specific subjects, naming a number of artists and performers who work in the Seattle area. When users zoom into a specific location in the panorama website, a pop up message might show up in the corner that offers more information on a specific artist.

Microsoft used both its Photosynth and its Image Composite Editor software to create the final 360 look at Seattle. They also made a two part behind the scenes video of the making of this project which can been watched on Microsoft's YouTube channel.

Source: Gigapixel ArtZoom | Image via Microsoft

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Can't view the Gigapixel ArtZoom:

Please use the latest version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
Which version of Firefox do I need (have 26.0 right now)? One of the bleeding edge Nightlies?

That's so cool. I found it quite nice how you can zoom in on the bridge that's barely visible to the right of the Space Needle and read the signs on it.

ACTIONpack said,
Why not use the Nokia Lumia 1020? They said you can now get rid of the DSLR.

http://youtu.be/zHTpuWep9yM

Beyond the intent of the comment, the 1020 is where photography of the future is headed.

Instead of using a specific set of settings, lens, etc to capture a great picture, we will eventually get to a point where our imaging devices capture a lot of information from a point and time that can later be assembled into a desired 'shot' or video.

Imagine 10 years from now and 360 degree imaging devices that can capture 50gp of information 120 times a second. (Based on past digital imaging advances, even 50gp in 10 years might be conservative.)

At that point, recreating virtually any zoom, shot, image changes, and specific framed video will be a lot like users on the 1020 do today by taking a shot and zooming in or reframing the image to exactly what they want.


Optics and image sensor advances are moving fairly fast and would move faster if devices were able to handle and store huge streams of data.


**Now image a 3-4 point array of these 'future' devices covering an area, and it won't be images or video, but a point in reality that we can later go back and walk around in.

ACTIONpack said,
Why not use the Nokia Lumia 1020? They said you can now get rid of the DSLR.

http://youtu.be/zHTpuWep9yM

I have a 1020 and it's not all it's cracked up to be. It does take outstanding photos, but the lack of camera features was disappointing after I got it. How could a device that boasts all the great things about the camera, have less features than mainstream Android phones?

Nonetheless, it doesn't work now; I dropped it twice and it's done. I had a few samsungs int he past and dropped them all the time without even having a case, and they didn't even gain a scratch. It also had to have a hard reboot at least once a day when it froze up. At the point of freezing, the camera bulge on the back side was so hot that it felt like it was going to pop off.

Again, the camera was great, but it had quite a few flaws to become the next big thing.

ACTIONpack said,
Why not use the Nokia Lumia 1020? They said you can now get rid of the DSLR.

http://youtu.be/zHTpuWep9yM

Do you own a 1020?

You can't "zoom and frame" unless you've got perfect lighting and a tripod. Megapixels may give you more detail, but even a ziess lens isn't going to fix aberration or graininess.

I own one, and I never had the results even close to canon L glass.

mockylock said,

I have a 1020 and it's not all it's cracked up to be. It does take outstanding photos, but the lack of camera features was disappointing after I got it. How could a device that boasts all the great things about the camera, have less features than mainstream Android phones?
....

Not sure what you mean...

The Nokia Camera App alone has more functionality than what was 'technically' possible on Android up until just a couple of months ago. (The advanced Camera App shipped when the 1020 did, so there was no way to have one without the other.)

So I'm not sure how it was 'lacking' camera features.


ACTIONpack said,
Why not use the Nokia Lumia 1020? They said you can now get rid of the DSLR.

http://youtu.be/zHTpuWep9yM

To even do a close-up macro, you've got to actually zoom in or crop. The minimum focal point seems too far away, or at least I could never get it to focus at 15cm like it says.

The controls were really clunky.

You're right about the features being essentially the same. At the time I was running custom roms on android that probably had some things that didn't match up. I haven't used it in a while because it broke, but I remember screaming at it while saying, "WHY can't you do something this simple?".