Gigapixels obtained from ordinary cameras
U.S. researchers have created a publicly accessible robotic system that can produce ultra high-resolution panoramas using ordinary digital cameras.
The panoramas are called GigaPans because they are comprised of billions of pixels, or picture elements. The system uses a unique camera mount that allows digital cameras to take hundreds of overlapping images. Special software combines the images into a single "breathtaking" image might could consist of tens of billions of pixels.
The technology was created by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center.
"We have taken imagery and made it a new tool for exploration and for enhancing global understanding," said Associate Professor Illah Nourbakhsh of the university's Robotics Institute.
The scientists, in cooperation with Google, have also created a GigaPan layer on Google Earth. Anyone using Google Earth can now fly into the GigaPan panoramas in the context of exploring the world.
The technology can be viewed interactively at www.gigapan.org. // Copyright 2007 by United Press International