Have you always wanted to see what the world looks like from the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world? Dubai, UAE-based photographer Gerald Donovan was recently given the opportunity of shooting a photograph from the peak of the massive skyscraper. Not just any ol’ photograph, mind you, but an immersive 360-degree panorama that makes you feel like you’re actually there!
360 Panorama has come a long way since we first shared it two years ago, going from an unpolished app with some highly negative reviews to one of the most popular camera appears boasting thousands of reviews and a 4.5 star rating.
It has come so far that this week Apple selected it as the iTunes Free App of the Week.
Angel Falls is the world’s highest waterfall as well as the inspiration for Paradise Falls in the Pixar film Up. Unless you’re planning on visiting the falls in the heart of Venezuela in person, the next best thing might be this stunning series of 360° aerial panoramas recently captured by photographer Dmitry Moiseenko over two days from a helicopter. Pan around, zoom into the scene, and become immersed in the otherworldly landscapes found at Angel Falls.
The ‘Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera‘ is an awesome new camera developed by a group of computer science researchers led by Jonas Pfeil.
The camera is thrown into the air and captures an image at the highest point of flight – when it is hardly moving. The camera takes full spherical panoramas, requires no preparation and images are taken instantaneously. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artifacts and creates unique images.
It uses 36 separate 2-megapixel mobile phone camera modules, which are mounted in an enclosure that’s padded with foam. Photographs can then be downloaded to a computer via USB and viewed in a spherical panoramic viewer.
Video after the jump
Photographer Jeffrey Martin, founder of 360cities, recently use a Canon 550D and 200mm lens to shoot the largest indoor photograph ever made: a ginormous 40 gigapixel photograph of a 18th-century baroque library in the Strahov Monastery in Prague, Czech Republic. Over 5 days of shooting with his robot control camera, Martin collected 2,947 separate photos that went into the resulting panorama. The RAW photos then took a day to batch process, 111 hours to stitch, and 20 hours to Photoshop, finally ending as a single 283 gigabyte photograph.
Jeffrey Martin spent three days shooting a massive 80 gigapixel panorama of London, which is now the largest 360-degree panorama in the world. He writes,
This is an 80-gigapixel panoramic photo, made from 7886 individual images. This panorama was shot from the top of the Centre Point building in central London, in the summer of 2010. We hope that the varied sights and energy of London have been captured here in a way never done before, so that you can experience one of the world’s great cities – wherever you may be right now.
It’s pretty crazy how you can zoom into individual windows and clearly see people walking on sidewalks.
London 80 Gigapixels (via Gizmodo)
Many of Sony’s new digicams have a nifty “Sweep Panorama” feature that allows you to create panoramas of up to 224 degrees by sweeping your camera across a scene. The camera then takes the numerous frames it captured during the sweep and combines them together into a panorama for you.
If you own an iPhone, a new app called 360 Panorama allows you to go a step further. Instead of creating traditional panoramas, the app lets you quickly create 360 degree panoramas by sweeping your camera in every direction. Each 360 panorama should take about 20 seconds to create, with the app filling in pieces of the panorama on an on-screen grid as you’re sweeping.
Now for a couple downsides. First, due to the app’s processor intensive nature, it’s only available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Also, the app has iffy reviews on the iTunes store, with customers saying that it’s a work in progress. Still, it’s a pretty neat idea, and if they get it working smoothly and correctly it would be a nice feature to add to your phone for a cool $3.
360 Panorama in the iTunes Store (via Wired)
It’s quite a coincidence, but two of the largest images in the world were both announced recently. These images were created by taking thousands of individual high-resolution photographs and stitching them together to create gigantic panoramas.
Dresden – 26 gigapixels
The first, and the largest image in the world currently in terms of megapixels, is a panorama of Desden, Germany. It boasts a whopping 26 gigapixels:
It was created using 1,665 individual 21.4 Megapixel photographs taken with a Canon 5D Mk II and a 400mm lens. A robot was used to shoot the photographs, and spent 172 minutes capturing the images. The 102 gigabytes of RAW data that resulted took 48GB of memory, 16 processors, and 94 hours to convert.
The photo was taken on the roof of the building “Haus der Presse” and starts at the left side with the Ostragehege. You can see the Congress Center and the Maritim Hotel rightwards. In the center is the city of Dresden with the famous Semperoper (back view), the castle and the Church of Our Lady. In the background is the television tower and you can identify outlines of the Saxon Switzerland. In the right part you can see the south of Dresden.
Prague – 18 gigapixels
This second image has less gigapixels than the previous one, but is a 360-degree panorama, meaning you can look in every direction:
Hundreds of shots were taken over a few hours, and weeks were spent stitching the image. It was created by Jeffrey Martin the founder of 360cities.
Gigapixel Dresden (via PhotographyBLOG)
Prague TV Tower (via TechCrunch)