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Yosemite National Park Geology > Yosemite Extreme Resolution Panoramic Imaging Project- North Elevation by xRez Studio

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
xRez Studio xRez Studio
Explore score
1.29 Gigapixels
Date added
May 09, 2010
Date taken
May 09, 2010

Canon G9 w/ 2x Teleconverter w...


Composite, rendered image taken from the "Yosemite Extreme Panoramic Imaging Project", www.xrez.com/case-studies/national-parks/yosemite-extreme-panoramic-imaging-project Will open in a new tab or window/. This is an aggregate of 10 of the 20 500-shot gigapixel images taken at the same moment in time to document the valley's vertical walls for the purpose of helping analyze hazardous rockfall for The National Park Service, specifically park geologist Dr. Greg Stock. The images have already found repeated use in analyzing many rockfall events, notably influencing the closing of 300 structures from the 10/08 rockfall above Camp Curry. Repeat high-resolution digital photography and terrestrial laser scanning provide accuracy and precision in determining rock-fall volumes and informing models of rock mass failure previously not attainable in the field of geologic hazard assessment.

Artistically, it also represents a first in landscape photography in which a true elevational view of nature has been created devoid of perspective. This image is a view of the north side of the valley, assembled from 5000 images shot from Gigapan Beta units in May of 2008. It was projected onto a 1M DEM terrain model in Maya animation software, and rendered at 150,000 pixels in Mental Ray through an orthographic camera.

Thanks go out to Randy Sargent of Gigapan for supporting the 20 shooting teams with Gigapan units, they performed flawlessly under pressure. Thanks also to the 50 volunteer photographers who participated in the shoot, scaling the aggregate 36,000 feet climbed would've been tough by ourselves!

Gigapan Comments (3)

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  1. Jason Buchheim

    Jason Buchheim (May 21, 2010, 12:56PM )

    This is truly astoundingly amazing! When you consider what is actually going on here (with the 3d mappings of 11 panoramic images onto relief data to create one big image)! Very impressed. Now we need to make one in Stereo-3D

  2. xRez Studio

    xRez Studio (May 11, 2010, 08:27PM )

    Paul, there are certainly flaws and abberations, but we did our best to create a faithful, natural image. The DEM we used was a wonderful 1M dataset provided by the park, done from a custom aerial scan. One limitation of DEM data is that they don't provide vertical relief data, so we equipped a hang glider w/ multpile cameras, and derived cliff face geometry from Photosynth, see photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=1a012 e5b-f88f-481f-ab3e-98f32c36665e Will open in
a new tab or window to view the result. As for other uses, yes we have loaded the image and DEM into a Crytek engine, which was quite amazing. We are looking into climbing applications currently.. Thx!

  3. Paul Heckbert

    Paul Heckbert (May 11, 2010, 11:22AM )

    Very cool! The results are surprisingly seamless and lacking in flaws (though I see some foldover on rock faces, and some leaning trees here and there). I was expecting silhouettes of the cliffs to look worse. Was your digital elevation model the traditional 2.5-dimensional type, elevation as a function of latitude & longitude in a uniform grid, or was it fully three dimensional, modeling overhangs too, for example on El Capitan? Can you give us some rough statistics on the pixel size and elevation sample spacing (in meters)? Do you have any plans for other uses of this 3D model - perhaps virtual hangglider tours, virtual rock climbing?

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