Navigating 13.3 gigapixels on a 22 megapixel display wall

| March 24, 2010 | Reply

Gigapixel images are great. The level of detail, the scope of the images and the sheer amount of data they represent are all fascinating. Viewing them in an enjoyable and efficient manner is another issue entirely. As digital cameras get better and computers become faster, stitching ever larger images becomes possible. In late 2009, a 26 gigapixel image of Dresden in Germany was published online, and currently a gigapixel-image of Paris is the world’s largest gigapixel image. However, looking at these or pretty much any other gigapixel image online, you are faced with a small viewer confined to your browser window. Can we do better?

I work at the Display Wall laboratory at the Department of Computer Science, University of Tromsø located in Northern Norway. The Display Wall lab is home to a 22 megapixel display wall, constructed from 28 projectors and driven by a display cluster of about 30 nodes (28 to do the actual graphics, and another few to do other tasks). Each projector creates a 1024×768 resolution image, which when tiled together with the others form a 7168×3072 resolution display.

During the Fall and Winter of 2009, we contacted Eirik Helland Urke, who had recently published a gigapixel image of Tromsø on his website, You can navigate that image for yourself here (albeit with the previously stated “in a tiny browser window” caveat). A fellow graduate student of mine, Tor-Magne Stien Hagen, went to work on building a viewer for gigapixel-scale images on the display wall. We combined his WallScope system with my Interaction Spaces system for device- and touch-free interaction with the display wall, and the result was a very smooth and enjoyable experience for navigating very, very high-resolution images. More technical details will follow as we have time to write them down. We also have a paper coming up – stay tuned.

Zooming into the gigapixel image of Tromsø on the display wall.

The system in action

A video that briefly presents the Interaction Spaces system and then goes on to show off navigating the 13.3 gigapixel image is available on YouTube in HD. I’ve embedded it here:


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Category: Tech News

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I am the Owner/Founder of & , I was born in to a world that was emerging on the frontier of technology. Within time I self taught himself everything from coding to graphic design and wanted to bring my creations to the public by the masses. With the new growing world of mobile applications I could achieve just that. I am always looking to learn something new and provide the best service and information I can. I am really a cool and calm type of guy who is more of a lounge party setting then going to the loudest rock concert ever. When I go out to eat at fancy places the ambiance is what I comment on first, if the ambiance is poor then my food doesn’t go down as good. I look at everything around me that has different shapes and colors which creates ideas I use in my everyday projects. I try to live life to the fullest when life dishes out free time. I love to teach everyone I know who isn’t as tech literate as myself and give them more information to better their decisions. The progression in technology is life, it’s my life.