Spot your office in this high res 360 degree photo of Tokyo

Technology Trends & Culture - August 1st, 2013
360 degree photo of Tokyo

If you live or work anywhere near Tokyo Tower – in fact not even that near, but in sight of it – this incredible 360 degree photo of Tokyo may just have captured you.

Photographer Jeffrey Martin‘s 150-gigapixel image, captured for the 360Cities project in September 2012, is now online and ready to explore, giving the opportunity to procrastinate and wonder at both the scale of Tokyo and how on earth one goes about hulking the camera and kit required for such a feat 333 meters up the tower in the first place…

In fact, in an interview with the LA Times’ photography blog, Framework (click to read more about the technicalities), Martin says that the image was taken over two days, as access to the non public area of the tower was limited. It’s also not just one image, but the result of stitching 16,000 captures from his Canon 7D, which he placed on a specially built “gigapixel robot” to help things go smoothly. With a 400mm telephoto lens attached to the camera, it is little wonder we can not only spot our office in Akasaka but tell someone didn’t water the plants that morning.

360 degree photo of Tokyo shows the Weekender office somewhere...

We’re in the middle of this screen grab of the 360 degree photo of Tokyo somewhere… Are you?

The stitching process was a mammoth task. The 16,000 images formed around 128 gigabytes worth of jpeg files and took a few months – and some pretty hefty processing power – to put together into the resulting, explorable, 360 degree photo of Tokyo that you can launch by clicking here.

It is not the first time Martin has undertaken such a task. His 360 degree image of London – also taken last year – is said to be the world’s largest, at 320 gigapixels.

On his website, Martin, who first started 360 degree photography around the year 2000 when in Prague, talks about the medium having come a long way in the past decade, but says “it is only now starting to be utilized in the ways it deserves – as a navigational tool, as a presentation tool, and as a documentary tool.”

We agree, but we also think the result of what is clearly a technical feat (and one for the photo geeks to really get stuck into) is rather a lot of fun to whirr around with your mouse. So can you spot your workplace/home?

The video below gives you a taste of the project:


by Matthew Holmes