In the beginning, there was a picture. A panoramic picture of Prague which would be bigger than any taken before. The location was also unique. Once every 30 years, the Old Town Hall´s roof and its tower need some refurbishing. We got lucky to hit this once-every-thirty-years-window when we could utilize scaffolding in the heart of Prague´s UNESCO site. 

Making such a monstrous picture is not easy at all. A basic 360° camera does not have the resolution for such a task, therefore it was necessary to use the classical one. On top of the scaffolding, Jeffrey lifted the camera up by another 5 meters and launched the pre-programmed software in the camera’s automated grip, which moved the camera frame-by-frame and row-by-row in clear-cut sequences. The camera with a huge telephoto lens took enormous amounts of data in rapid sequence and after three days of shooting, Jeffrey had over 8000 photographs on his disk; each photograph with 50 megapixels.

The hard work with pixels began right after we climbed down from the Old Town Hall. Jeffrey had to sew it together, match lightning conditions and replace blurred images. This needed a very powerful workstation, which we found in the vault of Marcus Hartmann. We got a shiny new CELSIUS R970 with 128GB RAM, extremely fast disks and very special software.

In the end, we had a single 500-gigapixel picture of Prague’s unique panorama. We decided that such a picture would also need a special presentation, therefore we printed it on a roll three metres high and 54 metres long, specially carved in order to create a unique experience for ten thousand visitors of the MakerFaire in Prague. The result was breathtaking. When I saw it for the first time, I was really proud that we were able to make this happen. Seeing thousands of people amazed by it was simply superb. For our efforts, we were rewarded with dozens of media outputs, new leads and prices for the best exhibition booth of MakerFaire.

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The printed version of the Prague Gigapixel at Maker Faire Prague – almost 60 meters long, 16 meters in diameter and 3 meters high

Old Town Hall under scaffolding

This was the highest point of scaffolding. Just above the top of Old Town Hall

Jeffrey doing his rounds

Filip Snasel and Tyn church as you will not see it next 30 years

Jeffrey Martin before the hard part started – imagine you need to stitch 8000 images together!

Lessage from company working on the roof renovation

Video about Prague Gigapixel