My photographic and geek bents have been intrigued by learnig (and still learning) how to capture immersive high res GigaPan images, which is fun enough in its own right. This is a combination of a special camera control rig and software that takes a series of images with a standard compact digital camera that gives them essentially super resolution by stitching a large number of overlapping photos.

I captured a few in Shanghai last week, and in one day in Hong Kong, got 3 more scenes:

GigaPan from Top of Hong Kong Peak Tram
Top of Peak Tram

Hong Kong Construction Site
Hong Kong Construction Site

Hong Kong Pier 9 GigaPan
View from Pier 9

The effect of exploring the online ones (pan and zoom to incredible detail). There’s a wow factor, as I am getting feedback (and then there is Carl Berger who ran out and got his own).

But I am hoping to see if people can think of some more edu-applicable ways of using this technology. There’s more to it than just shooting the images. I’d suggest that just using the existing images as a base of exploration or study might go a long way.

I had a few varied examples I added as links to the session description for my talk/demo at Learning 2.008. I am somewhat convinced a real power of the tool as when the panos are published on the GigaPan site, any user with an account (free to set up) can mark a detailed area found by zooming/panning as a “snapshot” with comments- essentially annotating a complex piece of information.

There is the capability to explore in detail petroglyphs, castles, gothic cathedrals (and enter inside of it via Google Earth), find content via tags

So if you look at someone’s profile on GigaPan, it shows all the snapshots they have made on different Gigapans and the ones they have bookmarked– so it can be a “portfolio” per se of explorations across the site. So students can use the site as a way to explore scenes, to say, look across images for landscape forms, architecture to compare, aspects of culture from photos of public places.

The folks who came to my session and “posed” for the demo shot at Shanghai Community International School were even talking about the potential for scripting some “story” to be told by characters placed in or moving around a scene.

I’m more than happy to take and post the images, but there’s much more… and to use this rich resource, you don’t need any equipment, just a clever activity to leverage content and the platform that is there.

Got ideas?

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I’ve been watching you work with this piece of technology for a few months now and I am finally seeing why you are into it. Amazing stuff. I’m going to introduce this to some faculty on campus who I think could put it to good use. Really cool stuff!

  2. Hey Alan. I work in forestry, teaching woodland owners and whoever’s interested about how forests grow and how sound forest management works. I could see a ton of value to a system like this showing the complexity of both managed and unmanaged stands, wildlife sign, all the details about how to “read” and begin to understand an ecosystem.

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