Megapixel? How about gigapixel?

March 24, 2011

OK, I know there are some video/imaging buffs out there reading, so this post is for you.

Every time I go to a tradeshow, I get to see some really cool megapixel and HD cameras with amazing resolution. In fact, I'm heading to ISC West in less than two weeks, and I guarantee I'll see more HD and megapixel images than ever. And I'm looking forward to it.

So for all those who love that kind of stuff, I want to point you to a website called Gigapan. Here's what it is. The website is a collection of panoramic images, often taken with multiple single images and then pieced together into one view. Shrunk down to the website's size, the first image looks like an average snapshot of a city taken from a bridge or tower. But then you start to zoom in on it, and what you realize is the incredible resolution that is on file here. Go play with it and dream of the possibilities of multi-multi-multimegapixel video imagers that could be in the future -- and which are probably already in our military's hands. Here's one example I found on the site (screen captures below are from Gigapan, and are presented within  fair use rights).

Here's the zoomed out image from Obama's inauguration...looks pretty standard, like what I may have taken with a consumer digital camera and a basic fish-eye lens. I marked a location with a red circle centered on a second row of bleachers, and I'll show you what it looks like there in just a minute.

Obama inauguration from Gigapan

And here's me zooming in on a couple of CNN photographers seated on the second row of bleachers. This is from the area which I circled in red in the preceding photo.

Obama inauguration from Gigapan, zoomed in

Wow. To this all I can say is "You think your network can handle gigapixel video?"


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