The gigapan shown below consists of 1.6 billion pixels and is stitched together from 170 single photos all taken with a standard DSLR camera and a 400 mm prime lens.

Gigapan usage

The gigapan gives an overview panorama of the target and at the same time allows the user to zoom in onto a small spot in the image with an incredible resolution. Gigapan is therefore a suitable tool in mapping of rockfalls and unstable slopes. The gigapan allows engineering geologists to virtually take the entire rockface back to the office and study it in detail. The hardware used consist of a good digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, a good lens and a Gigapan robot.  The system is easy to assemble and a panorama is taken within 10-30 min, depending on the target size.
Rockfall hazard analyses at NGI is often carried out by combining the visual inspection benefits of gigapans with a long-range LiDAR scan taken from the same position, in order to better understand the target's 3D structure and making distance and volume calculations possible. Gigapans can also help to georeferenced LiDAR models.

Post-processing of all the single images is an important part of the workflow. All the photos in the gigapan are post-processed to optimize highlights, shadows, contrasts etc. During the post-processing and stitching a pyramid data structure is built in order to facilitate fast and easy access to every part of the whole image. The finished gigapan is finally uploaded to an online viewing program (at giving the client direct and easy access to the complete gigapan from everywhere.

NGI Gigapan 590

Equipment and software used by NGI

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Canon 400 mm 5,6 L lens
  • Canon 135 mm 2,0 L lens
  • Gigapan EPIC Pro robot
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
  • Gigapan Stitch and Uploader

Gigapan related services

  • Large scale landslide and rockfall mapping and monitoring
  • Photography draping of 3D terrain models
  • Supplementary tool to long-range LiDAR surveys