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The Pittsburgh Gigapanorama I by David Bear

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
David Bear David Bear
Explore score
10.49 Gigapixels
Date added
Apr 16, 2010
Date taken
Oct 19, 2009

Come explore southwest Pennsylvania!

The Pittsburgh Gigapanorama was produced in conjunction with an on-going project being conducted by David Bear at The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.

This 360-degree image taken from the from the roof of the U. S, Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh from 9 and 10 a.m. on Oct 19, 2009 is actually an assemblage of four separate Gigapans totaling 31.3 gigabytes (10.49 gigapixels) of information.

What can you find in this Gigapanorama?

In addition to local landmarks and personal places, close examination reveals myriad details of the landscape and sky, as indicated by more than 100 "snapshots" taken by previous visitors. They have have even captured jetliners in mid-air!

Just click on any snapshot to zoom in to a place someone thought was special.

While even larger gigapixel photos have been created, this image presented unique challenges. Because the building's roof is so large, one acre in area, there is no central point from which to shoot a single 360-degree gigapan. So we took 4 separate gigapans and merged them together. Ranging in size from 12 – 16 gigabytes each, that entailed manipulating and melding photo files files that overwhelmed even standard computers and software.

That computation involved some heavy lifting and creative solutions.

The vertical banding is a consequence of having to slice the individual Gigapans into right byte-sized vertical strips so they could be photo processed.

At full resolution, the image contains myriad anomalies, resulting from processing limitations and the stretching and parallax distortions of puzzling so many crazy pieces together again.

With that in mind, we are presently engaged in production of the second Pittsburgh Gigapanorama, applying lessons learned to create an even more magnificent photographic record of southwest Pennsylvania. We have taken 9,200 photographs in 10 separate gigpans and hope to merge them into a single, seamless, 360-degree Gigapanorama. .

The separate Gigapans for the first Pittsburgh Gigapanorama were taken by Randy Sargent, Paul Heckbert, Dror Yaron, and Goutham Mani of the Create Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, and stitched by Paul Heckbert. Art Wetzel of The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center helped manage and manipulate the huge files, and Ruth Karlin provided the digital artistry to Photoshop them together. Image printing by Fran Flaherty of CMU Digital Print Lab. Access to the roof arranged by Andy Wisniewski of CB Richard Ellis.

The Pittsburgh Gigapanorama project has received funding support from the Heinz Endowments and a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund.

FOR A CIRCULAR PANORAMA OF THIS IMAGE, VISIT: www.3dpan.org/47373 Will open in a new tab or window
For more information about how the Pittsburgh Gigapananorama was created visit - http:/www.gigapanorama.org or email to bear7015@andrew.cmu.edu.

THE PITTSBURGH GIGABANNER - We have created a printed version representing 1/100th of the total digital image. It measures 23 feet long by 44 inches high.
SMALLER PRINTS (9 x 45 inches) OF THE PITTSBURGH GIGAPANORAMA ARE ALSO AVAILABLE For information,send email to bear7015@andrew.cmu.edu.


Associated Gigapans:
October 5 Test Shoot
1. Pittsburgh north - gigapan.org/gigapans/34128/
2. Pittsburgh west - gigapan.org/gigapans/34121/
October 19 Shoot
Un-retouched Gigapanorama segments
3. Segment One - g1.gigapan.org/gigapans/fb955b6a6078bb92b9be59b5f563b0f7/
4. Segment Two - g1.gigapan.org/gigapans/82984a9edf29a90e140c303e141ae04f/
5. Segment Three - g1.gigapan.org/gigapans/279b612439221213de46359d3b2bf5bf/
6. Segment Four - g1.gigapan.org/gigapans/c3f7b4f1df77e9e1ef40bdc6a09dccac/
7. 1/8th version Gigapanorama - www.gigapan.org/gigapans/908eb29ff54136da72484b0c918c7e6c/

Gigapan Comments (6)

Toggle Minimize gigapan_comment
  1. Brian Richards

    Brian Richards (March 05, 2011, 07:25AM )

    For a 360 VR view see www.3dpan.org/47373 Will open in
a new tab or window

  2. Frank

    Frank (December 27, 2010, 05:08PM )

    gigapan is fascinating!

  3. Chuck Koehler

    Chuck Koehler (October 26, 2010, 11:01PM )

    I think I can help with the stitching problems. When attempting this panorama: www.flickr.com/photos/cokak/366695 2672/sizes/o/in/photostream Will open in
a new tab or window/without Gigapan) I started stitching in Photoshop only to have it come to a screaching halt time after time. When the processors maxed out the software simply stopped trying to do certain functions like Splice and Blend. (I got the same bands as you got here) I know mine was only just under 1gb, but it was still enough to choke the software. Then I started to splice three images at a time. Worked Great, but - failed after getting half way done when attempting left to right splicing of the s-image sections. Then I started from the center! Center Three Left of center three, right of center 3, etc. When I was done I had about 7 sections of 2 or three images each. Then I spliced Center Left and Right. Perfect. Then Center (now 9 images large) left and right. Then Center left and right again. Bottom line was that it wasn't so much the Size of the Image, but the multiple tasks combined with the size. When I worked on the 3-splice method there was never more than 2 splices happening at once!

  4. Joseph Shirk

    Joseph Shirk (June 30, 2010, 05:12PM )

    What a good eye to catch this!

  5. Lynne Margolis

    Lynne Margolis (April 21, 2010, 08:57AM )

    This rocks. Yet another reason Pittsburgh is someplace special. Makes me miss it, but this is a great way to feel closer to home!

  6. Tom Nelson

    Tom Nelson (April 17, 2010, 02:06PM )

    This is very impressive. Congratulations!

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