Get ready to spend mindless (but fun) hours exploring Microsoft’s new GIGAPIXEL interactive image of Seattle. Why would a picture of Seattle be so much fun? For one, the interactive hi-def image is a mind-boggling 20,000 megapixel super high-resolution 360-degree panorama of Seattle giving you a up front and personal look at the coffee capital of the world. Then to top things off, Microsoft took the mammoth image and integrated humorous, hidden Easter-egg shots of local artists within the picture. The result is a detailed panorama of Seattle that provides hours of “Where’s Waldo?” entertainment.
The interactive panorama was created using 2,368 twenty-two-megapixel images that were shot from the roof of the Bay Vista condominium building. The images were then stitched together using Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor (ICE) software (available for free) to create the 360-degree panorama. Finally, the local artists were brought in and shot from precisely the same spot on the roof that the panorama shots were taken from.
“Over the next few weeks, we climbed to the roof six more times to capture individual artists, acrobats, and other performers at dozens of locations visible in the panorama.”
The photos of the artists were then digitally inserted into the final 20-gigapixel panorama giving us a very-entertaining Seattle Gigapixel ArtZoom.
For example, in the photo below, note the area the arrow is pointing to.
Zoom in and you’ll find this group of people strolling down the street carrying signs with slogans such as “Can you see me now?”, “Stop looking at me!”, and of course the inevitable “Hi mom!”.
Or maybe this one featuring an innocuous looking shark tank (complete with not-so-innocuous shark fins sticking out of the water). If the shark-tank by itself is not interesting enough, look to the second-floor walkway where you’ll find a group of merry dancers posing for the camera.
Check out the photo montage of some of the Easter Eggs we found in the project. Click here to view Microsoft’s full-size Interactive Seattle panorama and search for your own Easter eggs (fair warning: the people of Seattle are “interesting” so some “odd scenarios” might not have been pre-planned shots).