Pittsburgh Gigapanorama Photo Shoot

September 23, 2010 11:00 AM–3:00 PM

On September 23rd an ultra-high-resolution panoramic photo of Pittsburgh was taken from the top of the U.S. Steel Tower. The Gigapanorama was open for participation and the following call describes the possible participation in the panoramic photo of Pittsburgh.

What: Participate in a citywide, ultra-high-resolution panoramic photo!
When: This Thursday, September 23, 2010, 11:00am-3:00pm
Where: Anywhere that’s visible from the U.S. Steel Tower, Pittsburgh!
How: Check the directions below, then follow @creativeinquiry on Twitter or Facebook for updates!

People of Pittsburgh! On Thursday, September 23rd (weather permitting), a team of talented gigapanners will be capturing a stupendous photographic portrait of Pittsburgh. You are invited to take part!

We will be producing a 360° panoramic photograph of Pittsburgh — the Pittsburgh Gigapanorama — that will be photographed with two ultra-high-resolution GigaPan cameras from the top of the U.S. Steel Tower, Pittsburgh’s tallest building. This Thursday, wear a costume, make a sign, or strike a pose at the right time during the two-hour photo shoot — and then enjoy finding yourself in this monumental portrait of our city, which will be accessible online before the end of October!

Designed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the GigaPan robotic camera system is capable of capturing explorable, multi-gigapixel panoramas. From 11:00 a.m. until approximately 3:00 p.m. on Thursday the 23rd, we’ll record thousands of photographs from the top of the U.S. Steel Tower, and stitch these together into a seamless panorama. You can be in the picture — even more than once if you move around! It’s free, fun, and you’ll be making history.

Here’s how you join the fun:

  1. Check out the 30-gigapixel First Pittsburgh Gigapanorama (http://www.gigapan.org/gigapans/47373), which we photographed from the top of the U.S. Steel Tower last year. Try zooming “all the way in” until you can see street signs and individual people, just to get an idea of the amazing resolution of GigaPan images. Well, that was our test image. On Thursday, we’ll shoot a new version — during the Pirates game at PNC Park — with even higher resolution than before!
  2. Choose a place where you’ll be visible. Use the first panorama (here) to help choose a place that has good visibility from the top of the tower, and which is legally accessible for you. The closer to the Tower the better, but any place that can be seen in the first image should also be visible in the second. Remember: the closer you are to Downtown, the more visible you’ll be — and unless you’re within two miles of downtown, you’re going to be awfully small. Since the Pirates will be playing in PNC Park at 12:35pm, you can also be in the picture simply by going to the game and sitting on the right or left sides of the field (no outfield seats)!
  3. Look on our PANORAMA PLANNING MAP (http://bit.ly/pghPanoPlanningMap) and save time!

    We plan to take the image in six separate passes, on this approximateschedule:

    1. 11:00 – 11:30 – Strip, Polish Hill, Oak Hill, Middle Hill, West Oakland
    2. 11:30 – 12:00 – Duquesne U., South Oakland, Bluff
    3. 12:00 – 12:30 – Troy Hill, Spring Hill; Downtown, South Side
    4. 12:30 – 1:00 – East Allegheny, Fineview; South Shore, Mount Washington
    5. 1:00 – 1:30 – Allegheny Center, Central Northside, Duquesne Heights, Central Business District
    6. 1:30 – 2:00 – The North Shore, PNC Park, and points northwest.

    The schedule may slip if we hit unexpected issues, so follow our updates closely. Starting at 11am, we’ll broadcast updates every 5 minutes on Twitter (@creativeinquiry) and Facebook to let you know which direction the GigaPan cameras are pointing! Our team will make announcements in 10-degree increments, so it will help if you understand the numbers on a “compass rose diagram” like this one.

  4. Do your thing. We encourage creativity! Wear a costume or colorful clothing; hold a sign or banner; do anything to help you stand out from the landscape. (Keep it legal and school-suitable, please, or we may have to edit you out.) Also, bring a cell phone that day so you can receive our Tweets when we’re shooting photos from your direction.
  5. Let us know what you’re up to! Drop us a line on Twitter, Facebook or by regular email at studio-info@andrew.cmu.edu to let us know where to find you. Have someone snap a picture of your display that you can send us!
  6. Find yourself in the panorama! We expect to release the completed image online in late October, when you’ll able to visit the image at GigaPan.org. We’ll also make a large (4’x25′) print of the image and include it as part of the gigapanorama exhibit “New Perspectives of Pittsburgh” which will be in the Photo Forum Gallery in the upper lobby of the U. S. Steel Tower from October 11 through November 19, 2010. Details to follow.

This project was initiated by David Bear during a fellowship at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, with support from the Sprout Fund and the Heinz Endowments. The GigaPan Camera, related panoramic imaging tools, and imaging support for this project were developed and provided by the Create Lab at the CMU Robotics Institute and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/NSRBC. Got questions? Reach us on Twitter, Facebook or by regular email at studio-info@andrew.cmu.edu.