November 23, 2010 |
The ability to capture extremely detailed panoramic views made up of hundreds of perfectly stitched individual photos is tremendously useful for scientists studying everything from rock outcrops to birds to microscopic organisms.
The creators of the GigaPan robot, which can automatically create zoomable gigapixel-scale images, announced eight winners of a science photography contest Nov. 11 at the Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imaging for Science.
“Having access to such high-resolution images changes scientists’ relationships to images and the information they contain,” said Carnegie Mellon University robotics scientist Illah Nourbaksh, one of GigaPan’s inventors and an organizer of conference.
Created in 2006 by Carnegie Mellon and NASA, the GigaPan robotic camera mount can shoot hundreds of perfectly aligned images using almost any digital camera. After the photographer uploads the photos to a computer, photo-stitching software seamlessly merges them into a single, highly zoomable image.
Since 2007, Nourbaksh and others have trained 120 scientists to use the system. “There are 8,000 GigaPans out there just by scientists, and that’s growing every day as more of them use it,” Nourbaksh said.
From microbes on a barnacle to a landscape coated with penguins, explore the winning scientist-photographer entries, plus a sneak preview of zoomable, gigapixel-size, time-lapse videos.