Forward-looking: It’s long been said that smartphones are killing off the need for traditional cameras, but we’re unlikely to see a handset that can create a 195-gigapixel photo anytime soon. A panoramic image of this size was made by a Chinese company and is reportedly the world’s third-biggest photo and Asia’s largest.
The image is the work of a company called Jingkun Technology, or Bigpixel Technology Corporation. It’s obviously a little too large to put here, but you can explore it on the company’s website. The firm recently said over 8 million people had visited the site, though that number will be a lot higher by now.
The panorama was created from a series of photos taken from the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai over the course of several months. These were then put together using image-stitching technology to come up with the final piece.
Bigpixel says their photos are 2000 times more precise than those captured by consumer-level cameras. Despite being taken from so high in the air, you can zoom right down to street level and even see the expression on pedestrians’ faces.
A megapixel is one million pixels. While there is more to the quality of a photo than just having the highest MP count, smartphone companies are readying devices that can capture 48-megapixel shots, which contain 48 million pixels. A gigapixel is one billion pixels, so this image contains an amazing 195 billion pixels.
With China’s reputation for monitoring its citizens, there are already concerns over how this technology has the potential to be misused—not just in China, but around the world.