I Feel Like A Spy: Zoomable 150-Gigapixel Shot Of Tokyo

August 1, 2013

zoomable-tokyo-picture.jpg

This is a massive 600,000-pixel wide panorama of Tokyo taken from the roof of Tokyo Tower's lower observatory. It's made up of over 8,000 individual shots, and you can zoom in so far you can read the covers of magazines in front of the nearby 7-11. Still haven't spotted any naked people yet, but believe me, I'm trying.

the image is 600,000 pixels wide. The maximum size of an image in photoshop is 300,000 pixels in any dimension. This means that to create a single seamless image, it was a big challenge. The image never has actually existed as a single file. However, the two files do fit together seamlessly, so it can definitely be considered a single image.


Also, disk space. Various iterations of the image in progress were tens of gigabytes each. The final versions of the image are 100GB each. I had to convert that into cube faces, each of those are 80GB each. This adds up - people say that disk space is cheap - well, it's not!

I also needed more than 1.5 terabytes of free disk space to use as the "scratch disk" while doing the final assembly and retouching of the image.

The computer I was using had 192GB of RAM, and still lots of stuff was fairly unresponsive.

I love stuff like this, it makes me feel like a spy in a spy movie. *panning around building looking for suspect, stops to admire lady showering* Ooohlala! "Dammit, double oh sixty-nine, now is not the time!" Relax, there's always time for-- "The suspects just got away." Curses! *slowly zooms back to shower*

Hit the jump and explore the shot yourself.

Thanks to the cureforhope, who may or may not be crippling depression.

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