600,000-Pixel-Wide Tokyo Panorama is the 2nd Largest Photo Ever Made


Do you remember the 320-gigapixel photo taken from atop the BT Tower in London? That 360° panorama, shot by Founder of 360-cities Jeffrey Martin, holds the title of world’s largest photo. But just because you have the top spot, doesn’t mean you have to stop.

Another of Martin’s creations, this one shot from the lower observation deck of the Tokyo Tower, has earned him the number two spot as well.

Like the London panorama before it, this 600,000-pixel wide behemoth was shot with a Canon 7D and some robotic help. In London he had 7 cameras to work with, this time he only used one. His trusty 7D and 400mm f/5.6L lens were mounted on top of a Clauss Rodeon VR Head ST robotic panorama head and set to work for 6 hours split between 2 days.

In all, the final panorama consists of 10,000 photos stitched together by a 12-core Fujitsu Celsius R920 workstation that needed 192GB of RAM just to handle the load — and even it needed 12 weeks to process the creation embedded below:

You have to click here for the full-res version, and once you do, the detail is likely to blow your mind. From 20 stories up, you can pick individual people out in cars, see what folks are doing over on the track, and practically sit inside not-so-nearby office buildings.

In all, it only weighs in at 180-gigapixels as compared to the 320 the London photo boasts, but that’s still nothing to scoff at. If printed at regular resolution, the print would stretch out about 328 feet long and 164 feet tall.

Here’s a video Martin put together to tour you through some of his favorite pieces of the pic (note: there are a few discrepancies between the numbers he cites in the video, and the ones we got from the press release):

Interestingly enough, the image has never existed as a single file. Even Photoshop can only handle images up to 300,000 pixels wide. The version you see above and on the website consists of millions of individual image tiles loaded on an as-needed basis depending on where you’re zooming in.

Click here if you would like to read our previous coverage on Martin’s significantly larger — though, in his opinion, not as interesting — London panorama. And if you want more information on this 180-gigapixel creation, head over to 360cities and browse Tokyo to your heart’s content.

  • ConsciousConsumer

    You could print it at 166′ @ 300 dpi on the long side!

  • Banan Tarr

    And just think… if you actually go to Tokyo and bring a 400mm lens you can see all of this in real time! No need to wait 12 weeks to render it. Just zoom around at your heart’s content… instantly.

  • 写真家

    but what fun in that?

  • Edward Pointer Outerer

    What about google satellite view? Isn’t that made up of images that are stitched together?

  • C W

    anyone see the dude in the park passed out on the ground?

  • Norshan Nusi

    So they do have a large hole at the middle of the city after all….

  • Norshan Nusi

    Took some time to find it.

    HE must be drunk XD

  • SiriusPhotog

    Makes you wonder if he has by chance ever captured a crime in progress while shooting these hi-res shots.

  • Jake

    Incidentally, it would take more than 12 weeks for me to save up enough money to go to Tokyo with a 400mm lens. Not really so “instant” after all.

  • Jeffrey Martin

    Author here.

    But you only get to see anything for a single instant…. Additionally, the resolution you get from looking through a camera with a 400mm lens is probably about 1/8 of what you actually see when you zoom in to the photo 100%. ;-)

  • Jeffrey Martin

    I haven’t, yet. At least, I haven’t seen one. But I haven’t seen this whole image yet, either ;-)

  • Jeffrey Martin

    Yes Edward, aerial / satellite / military / medical images can be larger, but they are not considered “photography” in that sense. But yes, you are correct.

  • Stephan Mantler

    So if you’re standing on a tower and letting a robot do the work, you’ll consider it photography, but if you’re standing in an office and letting a satellite do the work, that’s something else? Even though in both cases you made the same artistic decision about the view point and camera parameters?


  • Kouri

    He should have taken the panorama in the U.S to find any crime, not in Tokyo.

  • Banan Tarr

    Hey there Jeffrey. That is a good point. I’ll bring the Canon 1200mm. Added bonus that I can get a work-out just moving it around ;) (My original comment was just in jest anyway).

  • Herve

    See the guy lying on the ground in the park? Murder scene ?

  • Arthur

    There’s also a girl that appears to be legless, though she is not fluctuating….
    Must be a photo stitching error of some sort.
    She is in the green and orange area that seems to be part of a school, (I guess) by the last (closest to the center of the image) of the white and blue parasols….

  • Jeffrey Martin

    From what I understand, because Japan and even the huge city of Tokyo is so incredibly civilized and safe, it is entirely acceptable to sleep on a bench when the night has been just too much to make your way home. Presumably this applies only for men.

    I think this guy fell off the bench but kept right on sleeping like a champ.

    We have shaded his face. Poor fellow probably didn’t expect to end up in a photo like this now, did he? :)

  • MyronTraps

    Stunning quality, really cool project.

  • Guest

    have anyone found the gorilla in the ballet dress?

  • Carlos Mauricio

    has anyone found the gorilla with the ballet dress?