To see the gigapixel image and share your favourite views of London visit:http://btlondon2012.co.uk/
An amazing image of London taken from the top of the BT Tower has set a new record for the world’s largest panoramic photo. The image shows a full 360 degree view of London in incredible detail.
The 320 gigapixel image, taken by expert photography firm 360Cities, comprises more than 48,000 individual frames which have been collated into a single panorama by a powerful workstation. It is the first time that an image of this magnitude has ever been attempted, and it took several months to create due to the scale of the endeavour. If printed at normal photographic resolution, the BT Tower panorama would be 98 meters across and 24 meters tall, almost as big as Buckingham Palace. In comparison, the last record attempt for a London panorama was 80 gigapixels, taken from Centrepoint in 2010.
The images were taken after the end of London 2012, the first digital Games. Londoners, tourists and those who work in the capital are now being asked to share their favourite views of the capital, as a permanent record of London’s year in the global spotlight.
As the official communications services partner for London 2012, BT played a vital role in ensuring the Games were the most connected ever, with millions of people enjoying sharing their experiences of the sporting and cultural action via social media. BT Tower played its part in the celebration, sharing news of every single medal won, live stats and scores on its giant 360 degree LED screen.
Suzi Williams, director, BT Group Marketing & Brand, said, “The BT Tower is such an iconic London landmark, and became a focus for the capital’s celebrations in 2012, what better way to capture that remarkable year than with a full panoramic photograph taken from its roof. This isn’t just a world record for the BT Tower, it’s for London and the people who live, work in or visit the capital. Take a look, and share your favourite London places and landmarks.”
Steve Hercher, director, 360Cities, said, “We were honoured to be chosen by BT to attempt this world record panorama and make our own contribution to commemorating the wonderful London 2012 Games. So many unknowns and variables had to be addressed in the planning of this unprecedented shoot, really the first of its kind. Software and hardware were pushed to the limits, and rain, wind and other potential stumbling blocks had to be dealt with. Our photography team of Jeffrey Martin, Tom Mills and Holger Schulze did an amazing job and not a single individual frame from the more than 48,000 planned was missed.”
Rainer Fuehres, Head of Consumer Imaging Group, Canon Europe, said: “The goal of empowering people to take the next step on their personal photographic journeys drives every product we create, and this breath-taking image truly takes this philosophy to the extreme. Since its launch, the EOS 7D has caught the imagination of enthusiasts around the world so we were pleased to support such an exciting and challenging project with a camera that so many people are using to capture their own moments of inspiration.”
Also, our old friend Buzby is hiding in the gigapixel image too. Find him, and you could be one of three winners in our competition. People are selected at random, the first winner will receive an iPad, a year’s free broadband, and a trip to the top of the BT Tower to see the view in person. Second and third place win an iPad. Full terms and conditions, please seehttp://www.btplc.com/gigapixel/
Notes to editors:
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.
About 360 Cities
360 Cities is dedicated to promoting geo-located, high-resolution spherical imagery by providing the best anywhere platform for publishing panoramic photography on the web. 360Cities.net is the web's largest collection of spherical, map-based panoramas, and through its partnership with Google Earth, this content is introduced to an even wider audience worldwide. 360 Cities is a Netherlands limited company with a subsidiary in Prague, Czech Republic.