System Enables Any Digital Camera to Produce Interactive, Multibillion-Pixel Panoramas
Carnegie Mellon University researchers, working with NASA Ames Research Center scientists, have developed an inexpensive robotic device that allows any digital camera to take gigapixel panoramic photographs, known as GigaPans. The technology is being used by students to document their communities and by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to make Civil War sites accessible on the Web. The system uses a tripod-like mount to allow digital cameras to take hundreds of overlapping images of landscapes, buildings, or rooms. Software developed by Carnegie Mellon and Ames is used to arrange the images in a grid and digitally merge them together to create a single image that could contain tens of billions of pixels. Carnegie Mellon has also created a Web site so users can upload and interactively explore the panoramic images in any format. "An ordinary photo makes it possible to cross language barriers," says Illah Nourbakhsh, an associate professor in the School of Computer Science's Robotics Institute. "But a GigaPan provides so much information that it leads to conversations between the person who took the panoramas and the people who are exploring it and discovering new details." Nourbakhsh hopes that GigaPan will help develop a community of producers and users. "GigaPan is not just about the vision of the person who makes the image," Nourbakhsh says. "People who explore the image can make discoveries and gain insights in ways that may be just as important."
Full article is at http://www.cmu.edu/news/archive/2007/September/sept26_gigapan.shtml