To celebrate a record breaking year for the UK, BT (British Telecom) the countries biggest telecom company, have created a record breaking panorama of the city that allows you to see London in an unprecedented way.
The image, which can be seen here, is a 360 degree panorama of London taken from the top of the BT Tower, which is located in located in Fitzrovia, London. In total there were 48,640 individual shots taken totaling a huge 320 gigapixels in total. If the image were actually printed at that resolution it would be 98 meters across by 24 meters tall, which is approximately the size of Buckingham Palace.
The detail that you can see when viewing the image is pretty damn amazing as it allows you to zoom in at individual buildings or people miles away from where the image was taken with remarkable clarity. In the example below, I was randomly panning and zooming around (use your mouse wheel, it’s quicker) and could see through people’s windows from a long, long away.
To get this incredible record breaking shot, four Canon EOS 7D cameras with EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses and Extender EF 2x III teleconverters were mounted on Clauss company Rodeon VR Head ST robotic panorama heads and positioned in four secure locations around the 29th floor platform.
Thanks to the krpano Viewer there are multiple ways that you can view the image by simply right-clicking anywhere and selecting one of the options below:
- Normal View
- Fisheye View
- Architectural View
- Stereographic View
- Little Planet Viewer
Meet the people behind the record breaking shoot, Jeffrey Martin, Tom Mills and Holger Schulze
Project by numbers:
- 320 – the number of gigapixels in the photo
- 48,640 – the number of individual images shot
- 3 – the number of days it took to shoot all the individual photos
- 3 – the number of months over which the computer processed the final result
- 60,000 – times bigger than an iPhone 4 photo
- 98 – the number of meters long if printed in normal photographic resolution
- 24 – the number of meters high if printed in normal photographic resolution
- 29th – The floor at the BT Tower where the photos were taken
- 20 – number of miles distant to the viewable horizon
Technical photographic information, and how the photo was taken:
- Working over a period of three chilly days in 2012, the 360Cities team spent hours on the 29th floor outdoor platform of the BT Tower working with four cameras to record the 48,640 images comprising the panorama.
- Four Canon EOS 7D cameras with EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses and Extender EF 2x III teleconverters were mounted on Clauss company Rodeon VR Head ST robotic panorama heads and positioned in four secure locations around the 29th floor platform.
- The Clauss company robotic panorama heads are capable of 72,000 steps in a single 360 degree arc, and in this case were set to fire four frames a second.
- Laptops monitored a live preview of the progress of the shoot, which was accomplished in the teeth of sub-freezing temperatures and occasional 50 mph winds high above London.
- The 360Cities photography team of Jeffrey Martin, Tom Mills and Holger Schulze ensured that not a single individual frame from the more than 48,000 planned was missed.
- The raw images were then processed over a multi-week period using Fujitsu Technology Solutions’ Celsius R920 workstation with 256GB of RAM and 16 cores at 3.1GHz, and Autopano Giga panorama stitching software from Kolor.
- The resulting online interactive version of the photo is presented in multi-layered, tiled resolution that permits zooming in to view extreme details, and is composed of millions of individual image tiles.