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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 17:39 UK

Creating a panoramic experience

By Richard Taylor
Editor, BBC Click

Imagine being able to zoom into any part of a panoramic photograph that catches your eye. Plus, even seeing people miles away when the picture was taken.

Click's GigaPan image of London's South Bank

This is already possible thanks to a gadget called GigaPan Epic which can create images 1,000 megapixels in size.

The robotic device can be mounted on a standard digital camera to capture hundreds, even thousands, of photographs which are then assembled into one panoramic image.

David Bergman's 1,474 megapixels image of President Obama's inauguration speech is fast becoming the poster child of this new slice of technological innovation.

The GigaPan device works by taking many zoomed-in snaps of the landscape, with each one at a slightly different angle.


See how the GigaPan gadget works

These photographs are then stitched together by software on the user's computer - but beware that this process can take a very long time, even on a high-end PC.

Photographs of static objects are merged together seamlessly, but moving ones can create a ghostly effect.

There is a buzz around Gigapan not only because it is visually impressive, but it is finally entering the realm of affordable consumer tech.

What began as a research project for taking detailed shots of the Red Planet, is now within the reach of keen photographers.

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