Views of the Earth

The 5 Gigapixel Image

Most of the images on the Views of the Earth website are designed for and rendered at sizes of 8-40 Megapixel - image sizes comparable to those produced by current high-end digital cameras and suited for prints up to moderate poster size. With the necessary data the techniques used to generate these views are also suited for generating much larger and more detailed images.

To demonstrate the possibilities rendered a very detailed view of western North America into an image sized 96000×54000 = 5 Gigapixel. A reduced size version of this image can be seen below:

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small version of 5 Gigapixel Image

By clicking on the above image you can zoom into the image and view parts of it in larger size. Parts of the image can be seen in full resolution but due to limited web server resources this is restricted to some selected regions.

Feel lost in so many pixels? I have prepared a list of detail views from the image showing well known sites.

This image has been rendered in 100 tiles starting in May 2006. Calculation was completed on 21 October 2006 and to my knowledge this is the most detailed image generated using 3d rendering techniques until now. To learn more about the background and technical aspects of rendering this image see the technical background information i wrote.

Visitor comments:

by Nels Nelson from Thailand posted on Sun Apr 6 2008 08:29:33
Yes, I agree, it would be lovely to have the images available, but what would one do with an image that insanely large? I wouldnt even know where to begin, a new system would have to be devised to print it. Perhaps you could tile the floor of a enormous room or put banners down the sides of sky scrapers or something.
by Adam from United States posted on Wed Jan 10 2007 02:25:23
Wow, that is quite amazing. You should make it available via Bittorrent so that we can all see it in its full glory.
by Daryl Lyn from United States posted on Sun Dec 10 2006 18:12:28
wow.

I want to buy the entire rendering on a CD(s) / DVD(s). You should make a place for people to order copies, or a "pay-for-FTP" method. My screensaver does pan & scan over large images, and the tiles here would be an awesome addition to my library of high-res images. Several people I know have High Def DVD players, and High Def TVs, and they are constantly talking about the lack of high def disks on the market today. Having a "pan & scan" recording on HD DVD of this and / or other extreme high resolution images with several different accompanying audio tracks (ie, the different language tracks on the DVDs) would be great as well. With the simple lack of good content, you could fair well name your price.

A screensaver would also be a good idea for you to sell / give for donation.

Amazing work sir.
by lim from Estonia posted on Sat Oct 21 2006 13:25:07
to Filipe Pereira Alves:
You've read it totally wrong!
480×540 (=259200 pixel) is size of one DEMO picture. The real size rendered is 4800×5400 (and that's 25.92 Megapixel). You can't see that for free.
And total size of all 200 pictures is 5.184 Gigapixel.
by optic from Netherlands posted on Fri Sep 22 2006 14:36:21
Amazing Graphics. Would like to see more North Western Africa images and also Northern Germany and the Netherlands nicely depicted. Again, amazing, I really love it.

optic
by Filipe Pereira Alves from Portugal posted on Sun Aug 13 2006 17:59:16
Hello.

First, let me congratulate you on a very high quality site.

Secondly, I do notice some errors in the information presented in the "5 Gigapixel Image" pages. As I understand it, the full picture can be considered at three scales: the scale of the main page; the scale of the pages one level down from the main page; and the scale of the pages two levels down from the main page.

At the second scale, the full picture is made of 20x10=200 smaller pictures, each 480x540=259,200 pixels in size, a total of 200x259,200 or 9600x5400=51,840,000 pixels, or 51 Megapixel.

However, the pages relative to the second scale state "The complete image consists of 200 of these tiles each with a full size of 4800×5400 = 25 Megapixel". I think that should read: "The complete image consists of 200 of these tiles each with a full size of 480×540 = 51 Megapixel".

Once again, congratulations on an interesting, intelligent and well done site.

Best wishes.

Filipe Alves
by Brian from United States posted on Fri Aug 11 2006 19:13:20
How cool is that?!
This looks like a good candidate for a multi-machine
collaboration.
by richarre from France posted on Fri Aug 11 2006 13:44:06
WWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
I cannot wait to see the end of this story! The biggest CG
image ever made in the known universe! Guinness time!

richarre

showing 5 of 8 comments. Show all.

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last updated Sun, 10 Feb 2013 20:29