Last April, MAKESHOP was photographed by a robot. A robot named GigaPan, which uses motors and gears to move the camera and press the shutter button. After all these zoomed-in, super-detailed photos are taken, a special program “stitches” them together so it looks like one long photo that is bigger, longer and more detailed than a regular camera is able to see at one time. These long photos are called “panoramas”, a word invented in 1789 that means “all” (pan) and “a view” (horama). So a panorama is a view, or picture, of everything, all around you!
You can go check out the big, interactive, zoom-able version of Dror’s panorama on the official GigaPan website by clicking on the photo below:
Here is another MAKESHOP panorama that I took on February 21st, 2013 with my phone:
The GigaPan robot used a professional camera to take very detailed, beautiful, precise photos. It took a long time to do its careful work, and it took even longer to fit all the pictures together so perfectly that you can’t tell they were ever separate.
My phone panorama only took about five minutes, including taking the pictures, putting them all together and emailing the final version. But the photos are a bit fuzzy, and parts of the panorama weren’t “stitched” very neatly: Kevin’s moving hand, the door next to him (which was too close to where I was standing), and the far sides of the room all have lines and edges where the photos didn’t blend together right. For my panorama, I used the free Microsoft Photosynth app on an iPhone 3GS. Most newer phones, music players, and computers have much better cameras, so if you experiment with your gadgets at home you’ll probably get even better results.
When might you want a perfect, clear, slow panorama of a place? When would a fast, easy, fuzzy one be better?