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The Largest Digital Photo 176

Gigapixel writes to point us to what is claimed to be the largest digital photo on the Net, at 8.6 Gigapixel. It is a composite photo of the "Parete Gaudenziana," a fresco painted by Gaudenzio Ferrari, dated 1513. This fresco is in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the convent of Varallo Sesia, diocese of Novara and Province of Vercelli, Italy. The site uses Flash to let you explore the fresco over a zoom range of more than 180 to 1. The photo is made up of 1145 images, each 12.2 Mpixel and 16 bits per color channel. Read on for more technical specs of the photo.

Photo Shots: 1,145
Computed Data: 84 Gigabyte
Computed Pixels: 13,982,996,480
Color Depth: 16 bit per channel

Cropped Image Size: 8,604,431,000 (w. 96,679 x h. 89,000) pixel
Image Size before the final crop: 10,293,864,000 pixel (w. 103,560 x h. 99,400) pixel
Size on Hard Disk of the 3x16 bit final image: 51,625,586,000 byte

Size of Photographed Scene: 10.80 m x 9.94 m (35.43 ft x 32.61 ft), corresponding to 107.35 m2 (1155.37 ft2).

True Scale Resolution: 227 dpi
Pixel Density: 80 pixel/mm2
Linear Pixel Density: 9 pixel/mm

Hard Disk space dedicated to 16 bit computing: 1.8 Terabyte
Ram: 16 Gigabyte
Processors: 4 x AMD Opteron(TM) 885 Dual Core 64 bit

Shooting on January 30, 2006
Shooting time: 13 hours
Computing time: 3 months
Final Image generated on June 15, 2006

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The Largest Digital Photo

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) < minus distro> on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:11AM (#16639249)
    If a composite photo is eligible to be called "the largest digital photo on the net", then sorry, wrong...

    What about Google Earth. That's a huge scrollable and zoomable digital photo, bigger than Gigapixel's efforts.

    Stitching together 40x40 digital photos = cool.

    World's largest digital photo it is definitely not.

  • by HateBreeder ( 656491 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:15AM (#16639265)
    Wouldn't that constitute for the "biggest digital image on the internet" ?

    Okay, so it's stitched together... but so is this one.
  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:37AM (#16639361) Homepage Journal
    OK, so I can concede that physical gigapixel cameras may be unrealistic, but couldn't effective gigapixel cameras exist? For example, if a single pixel camera as referenced this past week on /. [] could take high resolution shots, couldn't they stretch out the technology to work for ridiculously hi-resolution photos?

    I'm not an optics expert, just a tech optimist. 10 years ago I interviewed at IBM when they were working with Cyrix to match Intel chips. The engineering Director that interviewed me went on and on about how it would be impossible to create chips below 100nm (or .1 micron as he said) due to some type of Quantum interactions. Yet today Intel is testing 45 nm chips, and Cyrix is forgotten.

    Someone will always find a work-around to push a technology's limits well beyond the end point demarcated by yesterday's experts.
  • by DestroyAllZombies ( 896198 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @12:50PM (#16643425)
    It's a good point about the angular deformation, but the camera already has distance information from the range finder. This could be used as a starting point to correct the angular problems. Of course the resolution of the farthest points would still be less. The vertical and horizontal pan could be corrected if there were overlap areas.

    This would require massive CPU firepower in today's terms, but very possible later. Also, if overlapping or movie data were available, then processing could be used to lower the effective resolution of the final photo by combining images.
  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Monday October 30, 2006 @01:25PM (#16643943)
    Someone will always find a work-around to push a technology's limits well beyond the end point demarcated by yesterday's experts.

    Examples of where some experts were wrong about the limits to technology does not imply that there are no limits to technology. Some expert assessments regarding the limits may be wrong, while others are right.

    I'm not going to pretend I know what proposed limits to technology are solid and which aren't, but here are some to think about. Many physicists think that time travel (at least restricted to back-in-time case) is impossible, and progress on time-travel technology in the entire history of the world is pretty much 0. And while the 100nm limit to silicon feature size was wrong, I suspect the quantum computability limit (the maximum density of computations if every quantum particle were utilized as a computer) presents a pretty hard limit on computational power and an upward bound for the end of Moore's Law. I don't think the laws of thermodynamics will be broken any time soon either- no perpetual motion machines and all the free energy, etc, that they entail. Likewise, for pictures, I suspect it will be difficult to create a camera that does any better than recording the wavelength and direction of every photon that encounters it. Some limits are "made to be broken," and I'm confident that others won't be. Again, these were just examples of some that I think are relatively solid, and I'm not entirely sure of any of them. What I am sure of is that there are some absolute physical limits governing what can be done, and sometimes, the expert's proposed limits on technology will be absolute.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray