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17 May 2012

How we did it... again

The panoramic photo taken during the team’s Scudetto celebrations represents groundbreaking technology

After its roaring success at the stadium’s inauguration back in September, another 360-degree panoramic photo has been taken at the Bianconeri’s home - this time during the Scudetto party on Sunday 13 May.

The groundbreaking technology, used for the first time in Italy at the opening ceremony, produces a 10-gigapixel resolution which allows those who were present to zoom into the stands, find themselves and tag themselves on Facebook.

To make it happen we contacted an expert in the field who made the journey from London. The photographer positioned himself on the touchline, close to the Tribuna Sud, and began to put the incredible multi-tasking skills required into operation.

Whilst protecting his equipment from stray footballs during the warm-up, he remained crouched, hidden from view, monitoring the tracking device and capturing the inside of the whole stadium.

The kit was made up of a professional digital reflex camera (SLR Digital) and a zoom lens placed on top of a personalised and programmed robotic tripod. The robot rotates, capturing continual images, whilst panning 360 degrees until the entire space has been captured.

The hundreds of high-resolution pictures were then transferred to the stitching server via a super fast broadband pipe. Once uploaded, the images are automatically joined and blended together. The actual processing of the final image was done on a special Fujitsu Technology Solutions Celsius R670 workstation with 192 gigabytes of RAM and 24 CPU cores.

In short, upwards of 1000 individual photographs are sorted, matched, stitched and enhanced to produce a finished image that would otherwise take days or weeks to create using traditional methods.

“I was there. Were you?” has brought that magical afternoon to life, capturing the emotions of every fan in attendance. And if you were also there, all that now remains is to find yourselves, tag yourselves and become part of Bianconeri history.

What is a 'gigapixel' photo?

A gigapixel photo is an image of at least one billion (one thousand million) pixels in resolution. By contrast, the photos from the phone in your pocket have about 3 million pixels, the photos from your digital camera about 12 million. A gigapixel photo is made by stitching together hundreds or thousands of individual high-resolution photos to produce a Godzilla-sized image that allows the viewer to zoom way in to see amazing detail.

About 360Cities.net

360 Cities is the largest collection of beautiful high-resolution panoramic photos on the web, as well as the biggest online community of panorama photographers. With tens of thousands of geo-referenced, 360-degree images of amazing places, 360 Cities lets visitors explore the world. 360 Cities is a Premium Content Partner of Google Earth.