The Gigapxl Project

I just listened to a great podcast from ITConversations that was a
presentation at Pop!Tech 2005.  It was a wonderful talk by Graham
Flint about the Gigapxl Project
This is some amazing work where they are now taking pictures at extreme
resolutions – close to 4 Gigapixels!  That is close to 4000
Megapixels … a LOT more than the digital cameras that you can buy
today.  They are using some highly custom cameras to be able to
take pictures with incredible resolutions, built out of old U2 spy
plane parts.  These are still “film” cameras, but he also
discusses the work on fully digital versions of these cameras being

In his talk he mentions some interesting things that they find when
they are able to zoom in on these extremely detailed images.  He
talks about this image of paragliders
on the coast of California.  When his wife was reviewing the
image, she found people watching with binoculars and telescopes … but
they were looking down
… not up!  When they followed the track of the people’s vision,
they found that below the paragliders was a nudist beach!  When
they put this particular image in a museum, the resolution was so good
that they had to mask the faces and heads of the nudists!  This
opens a whole new conversation about privacy … and continues to beg
the question “Is there such thing as privacy?”

The site has got a lot of very cool images, and examples of the
abilitty to zoom.  They even had a cityscape of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I’ll have to check which podcast had the Q&A, however they did
bring up the questions of privacy.  In this image of  PETCO Park
he talks about the fact that they have detailed images of ~15,000
people … and how would you ever get a release from all of these
people?  As a friend and I talked about this, it means that a
single photo of a demonstration or rally might give details images of
the people attending.  Uh … what are you doing in that hotel room on the 15th floor?

It is truly some amazing work, and the podcast was a great
listen.  I’ve attached the link to this post … we’ll see if it
works for you!

Leave a Reply