Panoramic pic captures London at 80 gigapixels

The gorgeous photo reveals landmarks and everyday street scenes. We won't be completely satisfied until we manage to spy on our compatriots at CNET UK, though.

London Gigapixel
London Gigapixel is made up of 7,886 individual images shot from 36 stories up this summer (click to enlarge). Jeffrey Martin

A newly published 80-gigapixel picture of London appears to have stolen the crown for the largest spherical panoramic photo in the world. Take that, measly 70-gigapixel image of Budapest, 45-gigapixel photo of Dubai , and 26-gigapixel pic of Paris.

Photographer Jeffrey Martin stitched together 7,886 individual images to create his London panorama, which he shot over three days this summer from the top of the Centre Point building at the crossroads of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. Zoom in and you can see landmarks like Big Ben and the National Museum--all without having to undergo a virtual strip search .

The gorgeous photo also reveals lots of amazingly detailed street-level shots of houses, office buildings, shops, and street and pedestrian traffic that offer a glimpse of daily life in London. The team that worked on London Gigapixel, as the photo is called, blurred out the faces of identifiable children--as well as one "naughty bit."

Martin--founder of 360Cities.net, a repository of panoramic city shots--used a digital SLR camera, a 400mm lens, and a custom-built moving robotic camera mount to take his thousands of pictures. He connected them on a Fujitsu Celsius workstation with dual six-core CPUs, 192GB of RAM, and a 4GB graphics card.

The giganto photo is 400,000x200,000 pixels. That means, according to Martin, that if printed at normal photographic resolution of 300dpi, it adds up to about 115x56 feet. We won't be completely satisfied until we manage to spy on our compatriots at CNET UK, though.

Big Ben
London's famous Big Ben, one of the landmarks pictured in the 360-degree shot, can be seen from far away, and up close (click to enlarge). Jeffrey Martin
London apartments
A glimpse into the windows of a London apartment building: Everyone in there decent? (click to enlarge). Jeffrey Martin

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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