The Bigapixel Experiment

big-a-pix-el [big-uh-pik-suhl] n. A basic unit of graphic resolution, more than a megapixel but not quite a gigapixel.

I came across a very interesting site the other day called the Extreme Resolution that used an interface based on Google Maps to view and zoom in on massive images (hundreds of megapixels in size). Because I had experimented with the Google Maps API in the past, I thought to myself, "Hey, I can do this!". So I dug around a lot and did some research on implementing custom tiles with Google Maps. While originally intended to support layering 3rd party maps on top of Google Maps, I realised this was something readily adaptable for my intentions.

After a week or two of trying to establish how best to manage an image and cartesian coordinates I came up with a working model. In fact, I can process any large image to work with Bigapixel viewer in a matter of minutes.

The name "Bigapixel"sort of popped into my head as a way to describe images that are obviously well over a megapixel (1024x1024 pixels) but not quite a gigapixel (32000x32000 pixels). I would wager that any panorama that I could possibly ever generate would fall somewhere in that range.

My usual photography can be viewed at my photography site or at Flickr.

Resolutions Compared:

1200x800 (~1 Megapixel): 3076x2048 (6.3 Megapixels): 40000x27000 (1 Gigapixel):

At this time please consider these to be demonstration-quality results, I hope to further improve the usibility of the interface as I find the time.

Seattle At Night

A nightime panorama of the Seattle skyline

28 Megapixels

Seattle from Victor Steinbrueck Park

A another view of Seattle

90 Megapixels

Mount Stuart, Washington

A small panorama of a famous Washington landmark with some fall color

14 Megapixels

Friday Harbor, Washington

A single-row panorama of a scenic marina in the San Juans

26 Megapixels

King Street Station, Seattle, Washington

A stitch of horizontal and vertical elements

38 Megapixels

Monument Valley, Utah, 2008

From our Great American Road Trip.

64 Megapixels

Boeing Factory, Everett, Washington

Two dreamliners and a 777F

30 Megapixels

Boeing Dreamliner One, Everett, Washington

The first Boeing Dreamliner (787)

32 Megapixels

Mount Rainier

Looking up Emmons Glacier

130 Megapixels

More to come soon...