Amazing Gigapan Image
Feb 19, 2009 at 08:00AM
Doug in History, Photography

Professional photographer David Bergman made this giant panoramic image showing the nearly two million people who watched President Obama’s inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 20, 2009. Taken from the north press platform, it’s made up of 220 Canon G10 images. The original image size is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels. This new version is 56,646 X 27,788 or 1.57 gigapixels.

To make the image, David clamped a Gigapan Epic Imager to the railing on the north media platform about six feet from his photo position. The Gigapan Epic is a robotic camera mount that allows him to take multiple images and stitch them together, creating a massive image file. It took more than six and a half hours for the Gigapan software to stitch together all of the images on David’s Macbook Pro, and the completed TIF file is almost 2 gigabytes.

Click on the image above, then use the controls to zoom and pan around the photo. You can also double click to zoom in and double click again to get even closer. If you zoom way in, you’ll note that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is not sleeping, President Bush is not sending a text message, and Oprah Winfrey is blocked by a camera tower. Look more closely and you’ll see Yo-Yo Ma taking a picture with his iPhone. David says he’s still looking for Waldo.

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