Gigapan: Pictures you can really get into

Gigapan fragment, DC Union Station

Gigapan fragment, DC Union Station

Gigapan isn’t brand new, but it’s a fascinating visual tool that allows people to deeply explore panoramic photographs — and to collaboratively tell stories through pictures.

It’s part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Global Connection Project

What’s so cool about Gigapan?

  • Conveys a strong sense of place — almost a 3D feel
  • People can create their own experience with snapshots
  • Provide text or link context
  • Allows examination and discussion of details
  • Plays nice with Google Earth

I like Gigapan because it offers an experience sort of like this:

More about Gigapan…

Key technologies:

  • Robotic camera mount for capturing very high-resolution (gigapixel and up) panoramic images using a standard digital camera. Current cost: $279
  • Custom software for constructing very high-resolution gigapixel panoramas
  • Interactive web site for exploring, sharing and commenting on gigapixel panoramas and the detail this community discovers within these images
  • Google Earth interface allowing you to add a compelling layer of context for panoramic images.

Example Gigapans:

Here, Tom Vilot demonstrates how the robot works to shoot a Gigapan image:

Cool things you can do with a Gigapan image on the Gigapan site:

  • Zoom and explore
  • Take a snapshot
  • Conversations (like this)
  • Google Earth browser

Posting images to and participating in Gigapan community makes your story not just about your site! It makes it easy for Gigapan and Google Earth users to connect with you. Especially Google Earth — their user base is HUGE! I’ve seen estimates of 350-400 million downloads — probably higher than number of actual users, but still it’s a LOT of people! Get Google Earth, participate in Google Earth community.)

2 thoughts on Gigapan: Pictures you can really get into

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