Giga Who? Giga What?

GigaPan! Integrating the use of a GigaPan into our programs has yielded some really fantastic results. For those of you out there still scratching your head, GigaPan is not a gigantic frying pan, but an amazing little robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University, with NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, and a little help from Google. The robot is designed to turn any camera into a super high resolution, panorama-taking machine. By attaching your camera of choice, zooming in to your camera’s maximum, and telling the GigaPan where to start and end the panorama, you can let the robot work it’s magic and systematically snap hundreds of images that are then stitched together in their own software program, producing one seamless image.

GigaPan has also created a global online community where users can upload their panoramas, begin conversations and make discoveries into each other’s images. Here is a brief documentary on it’s use in a school in South Africa, further illustrating it’s place in the photographer’s story-telling arsenal.

At all three Photo Camp Chad sessions, we showed students how to use this technology and integrate panoramas into their final exhibition. You will notice that in the above documentary, colored lines were used to outline and branch out notations from the printed panoramas in the exhibit. This is not dissimilar to the way in which online conversations about the panoramas take place at

Applying this same methodology to the final print exhibitions in Chad, students used colored string to attached their notes and thoughts to individual subjects within each displayed panorama. When the exhibition opened to the public, these annotations helped the people of N’Djamena to engage with the students over the images.

The process of teaching this technology and it’s applied use to the students was sometimes challenging, but the results are stunning.

Please click on each GigaPan to see it in larger detail.

The photography featured here was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The contents are the responsibility of the participating students and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. This project was funded by USAID under the “Peace Through the Development” program.

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