High Resolution Deep Zoom Imaging
What is it?
High resolution deep zoom imaging is exactly what it says it is. We use the latest high resolution digital cameras combined with cutting edge space age technology to create huge high resolution images. Typical images are more than one billion pixels in size. These massive images (or gigapixel images) would obviously not display easily on a web page. So we use deep zoom software techniques to create multiple zoom levels within a picture so that it can be displayed easily on a web page and update rapidly as a user chooses where to zoom to.
To put a gigapixel image in context consider a typical cityscape image such as the one shown on this page. The final image may be 100,000 pixels wide and 20,000 pixels high. If this image was printed at the industry recognised standard resolution of 200 ppi (pixels per inch) that would result in a picture nearly 42 feet wide and over 8 feet high - with no upscaling!
How does it work?
A robotic camera head is used to take hundreds of precisely aligned high resolution images. Sophisticated software then processes and combines all of these images together to create a single panorama. This final gigapixel image is then split into dozens of layers and hundreds of small image tiles. Special code is then used within a web browser to ensure that only the necessary image tiles are delivered to the person viewing the image - this ensures they can zoom to the maximum level of detail without having to wait for lengthy load times.
How could I use it?
The possibilities of high resolution deep zoom imaging are endless. We have some examples shown here on our website, but we continually find new ways to use the technology. A few examples are given below but the sky is the limit.
Show off the view - if you have a bar or restaurant with a great view, capture it in high resolution and show it off on your website to attract more guests
Capture the interior - whether you are trying to sell a house, or showcase the interior of your latest model of car. use high resolution zoom images to allow the buying public to check it out in all it's detail
Preserve for history - use high resolution imaging to archive and catalogue fine art works and historical architecture. The level of detail delivered through these gigapixel techniques ensure that every detail and aspect is preserved for posterity.
A sample panorama showing Singapore Marina Bay is shown below. Have fun and explore it! Also check out our gallery for more examples and alternative display methods.
We use the latest high resolution digital SLR's from Nikon along with robotic panoramic heads designed in conjunction with NASA. These panoramic heads were originally designed for use in the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity with support from Carnegie Mellon University. Subsequently the technology was set up as a commercial spin-off enabling us to bring high resolution deep zoom images to a wider audience.
See our "How It Works" section for more details on how these images get created.