When photographer David Bergman attached the robotic camera mount the Gigapan Imager to a railing at President Obama’s inauguration, he was able to snap 220 images with his Canon G10 to create this fantastic image.
A regular camera fits into the Gigapan Imager. Once the user marks the corners of the panorama that she wants to take, Gigapan calculates how many pictures the camera needs to snap. The robotic device then captures hundreds or thousands of photos, and Gigapan software integrates the image afterward. Bergman says on his blog that it took his Macbook Pro six and a half hours to finalize the nearly two-gigabyte image–the highest-resolution panorama of the inauguration.
The Gigapan Imager was developed as part of a larger project between Carnegie Mellon University, Google, NASA, and National Geographic to create high-quality images for maps and disaster-relief efforts.