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GigaPanning My Town

I had a lot of fun with the GigaPan back in 2008 when I first was introduced to this device. It is a simple but elegant idea- a robot controller tat holds a camera and makes a series of images in a grid that can be combined in software to form a giant scene. A motor moves and pans the camera, and a mechanical arm clicks the shutter.

I’d not done one in a while (my previous attempts are at But I was inspired today to get out, and I aimed to hike up Strawberry Mountain, the peak I see from my back deck (behind the real Strawberry)

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

It was a steep scramble up there, and man I felt my out of shapeness. There are not too many places where the trees afforded a view, but I got a decent spot overlooking town below.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

And I was rusty at the set up- it took like 10 minutes to get the tripod level, and for the life of me I could not remember how to set the exposure and focus lock on my little Canon camera. By the time I did, the good light over town was starting to fade, but I gave it a go anyhow, setting the upper left and lower right corners to get a series of 66 photos.

I took a little video footage with my iPhone so you get a sense of what it does:

The device moves the camera down (columns) and then shifts across and up to the next column, taking enough photos to have the overlap the software needs. I processed them tonight, and crreated a 0.3 Gb image as loaded to the GigaPan site (

It was fun to do this and I look forward to doing some more experiments.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff 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. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


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