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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.

January 24, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Microsoft creates 20,000 megapixel interactive image of Seattle

Put together 100 artists and performers; a bunch of photographers, videographers, software developers and editors; and nearly 2,400 photos of Seattle and what do you get?

An interactive, 360-degree 20-gigapixel panoramic image that Microsoft researchers believe to be the most detailed image ever captured of Seattle — along with a “Where’s Waldo”-type hunt to find Seattle artists within the image.

Microsoft's Gigapixel ArtZoom features a 360-degree panoramic image of Seattle (part of which is shown here), along with the ability to zoom in to get information on 100 Seattle artists and performers. (Photo from Microsoft)

Microsoft’s Gigapixel ArtZoom features a 360-degree panoramic image of Seattle (part of which is shown here), along with the ability to zoom in to get information on 100 Seattle artists and performers. (Photo from Microsoft)

The project, called Gigapixel ArtZoom, is designed to showcase Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor (ICE) stitching technology and the company’s Photosynth viewing platform, as well as to highlight dozens of Seattle artists and performers. (Both ICE and Photosynth are available for free.)

Go to the site, at gigapixelartzoom.com, and you’ll be able to pan and zoom around the image. Zoom in enough (and you’ll be able to zoom in quite a bit — including to the shorelines across the Sound) and you’ll find artists and performers at various public spaces, buildings and other locations, with information about each artist popping up in a box.

Here’s a screenshot of acrobatic team Duo Rendez-vous at one location:

Duo Rendez-vous

The main panoramic images were taken in October. Additional photos of the artists were taken over several weeks after that.

Here’s a video from Microsoft on how the whole project, which is scheduled to be unveiled tonight at Seattle Art Museum, came together:

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