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Microsoft’s 20,000 Megapixel Panorama Celebrates Local Artists

A 360 degree interactive image lets viewers explore Seattle and highlights the artists who reside in the city.

Kristen Nozell
Kristen Nozell on January 29, 2014. @kristen_n

Gigapixel ArtZoom is a project by Microsoft Research that transforms Seattle into an immensely explorable cityscape featuring the city’s vibrant creative scene. Created by principal research development lead Matt Uyttendaele and principal researcher Michael Cohen, the high-resolution panorama was made using over 2,000 high-res photographs taken from the rooftop of a 25-floor Belltown condo building. These images were then stitched together using Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor (ICE), transforming the unique photos into a 360 degree, zoomable panorama.

The incredible resolution means that users can zoom far into the nooks and crannies of the city — and what they find there is worth the effort of exploring. Separately from the initial shoot, the team snapped footage of over 70 of Seattle’s street performers and other artists engaged in a wide range of activities, from a Thriller flash mob to an acrobatic duo, and even a marriage proposal. These images were added into the panorama, so viewers can zoom in to discover the artistic gems all over the city.

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The resulting website includes the interactive panorama, along with information about the project and the artists involved. The ICE technology used to stitch the images together is available for anyone to use and can be downloaded here.

Source: The Seattle Times, Fast Company

Images: Gigapixel ArtZoom

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