Required, Technology - Written by on Friday, July 15, 2011 15:12 - 0 Comments

Gettysburg 1863 Reenactment, Meet GigaPan 2011. WA Teaching Tool Quick Take.


picture courtesy GigaPan

GigaPan’s latest issue helps demonstrate how their panorama technology can be applied for education. Campus technology reports:

The issue features panoramic photographs of battlefields as well as paintings, letters, photographs, and other objects from a museum collection, which can be viewed from a distance and then zoomed in on with remarkable clarity.

The photos are generated with GigaPan technology, which consists of a robotic device that holds a digital camera and lens in place to take hundreds or thousands of images and software that allows the images to be compiled into a single panoramic shot. GigaPan, which stands for “gigapixel panoramas,” comes in several models priced from $299 to $895.

The WiredAcademic quick take.

The good:

Takes the guess work out of creating expansive and automated production of highly detailed panoramic images.

Good for:

Distance learning courses can provide immersive and interactive experiences. Think: museums, galleries, landmarks. Even paintings look pretty cool, and invite the audience to peep some pixels. This tool would be good as an add-on content for a larger curriculum plan. Teachers who have a good basic understanding of photography fundamentals. GigaPan is good for including visuals to a larger lesson plan.

Not so good for:

Action, like plays, musical and sport events. Then again, students are already doing those things themselves anyway. For example, in the Gettysburg reenactment, if you look closely, a horse mysteriously floats in air, while its legs have been left behind.

The GigaPan is automated, but you still need to know where to point it. As seen in the Gettysburg reenactment panorama, one of the chosen focus points is a sweaty tattooed blonde next to a bald, shirtless guy with a beer gut. Nothing against any of the above, but if teachers want students to focus on the battle of Gettysburg, the last distraction students need is the battle of the bulge.


All-in-all, the GigaPan unit offers a lot of possibilities for schools that have staff members with some fundamental understanding of the strengths of the system. Fundamental photographic understanding not optional. As snapshots from SLR-toting tourists can attest, you can buy a $900 camera, but it takes skill to avoid weird bystanders.

Check out the Gettysburg GigaPan project.

More coverage about the Gettysburg GigaPan project over at Campus Technology.

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