PSC Researcher Manages Image Data for First Pittsburgh GigaPan

PITTSBURGH, April 30, 2010 — Art Wetzel, PSC principal computer scientist, has collaborated with David Bear of Carnegie Mellon’s Studio for Creative Inquiry (SCI) in creating the first Pittsburgh Gigapanorama. This interactive, 360-degree portrait of southwest Pennsylvania as seen from the roof of the U.S. Steel Tower was unveiled to the public on April 22 at the SCI. It is assembled from 4,000 individual frames comprising 31.3 gigabytes of data (10.5 gigapixels), making it one of the largest digital photographs ever created. If displayed at standard print resolution, the image would be 50 feet high by 285 feet long, bigger than any screen could accommodate. Bear and his colleagues enlisted Wetzel for his expertise in data-intensive visualization, and Wetzel used his 8-processor 64-Gig RAM system to help manage, adjust and assemble the full image files.

L to R: Art Wetzel,PSC, David Bear, CMU, Paul Heckbert, Gigapan

More information:

Feature in PopCity Media:
Gigapan Announcement:
High Point Park:

Other project collaborators:
Four separate Gigapans were shot by Randy Sargent, Paul Heckbert, Dror Yaron and Goutham Mani of CMU’s Create Lab. The thousands of images comprising those four Gigapans were stitched together by Paul Heckbert, who has also helped coordinate the project. Ruth Karlin provided extensive post-production Photoshop artistry. Gorsimran Koonjul of CMU offered computer assistance. Fran Flaherty of CMU’s Digital Print Lab figured out how get the image out of the computer and on to paper. Andy Wisniewski of C.B. Richard Ellis arranged access to the roof. Both The High Point Park Investigation and Pittsburgh Gigapanorama project have received financial support from the Heinz Endowments and a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund.