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320-Gigapixel Photo Sets New Record

A 320-gigapixel image of London taken from the top of the BT Tower has set a new record for the world’s largest panoramic photo. The picture, which is made up of 48,640 individual images, shows a full 360 degree view of London in incredible detail. To capture the source frames, 4 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 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 project was commissioned and financed by the BT Group, and completed by 360Cities.

Website: BT London 2012

Previous record holders for the world’s highest-resolution photograph included panoramic images of Budapest, Dubai and Dresden, among others.

Press Release

BT Tower breaks world record for panoramic photo

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 see http://www.btplc.com/gigapixel/

Published: Friday, February 22, 2013

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Reader Comments

  1. Pretty cool - could spend hours looking at it.

    Prize for the first person to spot some nakedness on a roof terrace ? ;)

    Else - accidentally found a photography "landmark"
    http://btlondon2012.co.uk/pano.html?view.hlookat=-132.3346&view;.vlookat=12.4146&view;.fov=2.2907&imarkerath=-132.3346&imarkeratv=12.4146

    Daf at 11:24am on Friday, February 22, 2013

  2. oops - that should be : http://btlondon2012.co.uk/pano.html?view.hlookat=-132.4608&view;.vlookat=11.0873&view;.fov=2.2907&imarkerath=-132.4608&imarkeratv=11.0873

    Daf at 11:27am on Friday, February 22, 2013

  3. There are a few stitching errors - but to be expected I guess.
    e.g. Ghost building http://btlondon2012.co.uk/pano.html?view.hlookat=-147.8605&view;.vlookat=58.3101&view;.fov=8.5430&imarkerath=-147.8605&imarkeratv=58.3101

    Daf at 11:32am on Friday, February 22, 2013

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