Editor Richard Taylor of the BBC’s flagship technology program, Click, has selected GigaPan Epic as his top technology of 2009. GigiPan Epic is a robotic camera that takes hundred of images and assembles them into one giant explorable panoramic image. You can explore Gigipan Epic’s image of President Obama’s Inauguration Ceremony here.
BACKGROUND: Photographic panoramas were a critical piece of the Apollo program, documenting before and after images of each landing site, as well as providing context for lunar samples. Future lunar and planetary missions will utilize visual documentation as well, but will also require Earth-based teams to remotely capture high-resolution imagery for remote science, education, and public outreach.
GigaPan Epic is the latest camera in the GigaPan system, which was developed to automatically capture interactively explorable gigapixel panoramas. Gigipan Epic is designed for standalone use and includes a pan/tilt/zoom digital camera, on-board automatic image mosaic creation software, and an integrated Web server. Users capture panoramic photographs and view the resulting explorable imagery using a Web browser.
GigaPan http://gigapan.org is a collaboration between the Intelligent Robotics Group and Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to its use in exploration technology, GigaPan also helps bring cultures and peoples from around the world together through its captivating explorable imagery. GigaPan is used by scientists, documentarians, educators, journalists, and others to connect, inform, and inspire people across the globe.
NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Human-Robotic Systems (Exploration Technology Development Program)
Gigapan Team: Susan Lee (Project Lead), Ted Morse, Eric Park, Randy Sargent
Contact: Terry Fong