Anyone try a bit of Giga-KAP? ....very high resolution images....

Reference work by VAST here

Interesting example (non KAP) here from Ben Pitt and his GigaPan post.

See if you can read the text....on the side of the blimp....



  • I couldn't even find the blimp! But I knew to look at the snapshots which revealed it.

    I was making lots of GigaPan panoramas six years ago when I learned about KAP (my profile at From the beginning, my KAP goal has been to make aerial GigaPans. This turned out to be rather hard, but I am still getter closer. That Ben Pitt panorama is a 7 gigapixel image, and my biggest KAP panorama is 0.3 gigapixels. KAP turned out to be much more fun than gigapanning, so I rarely use my GigaPan imager anymore. But I almost always fly my Saturn V autoKAP rig with the goal of making 360° panoramas. The Canon EOS M has a 37mm (equiv) lens, and about 30 photos are required to make a half spherical panorama. It would be fun to try a 50mm (equiv) lens to increase the resolution, but I think very perfect conditions would be required to capture all of those overlapping photos and ensure that motion blur didn't ruin too many of them. The hard part is staying in the same place for long enough to capture all the required photos. The Ben Pitt panorama was made with a 600mm (equiv) lens and was stitched from 1229 photos.

    A big, stable drone should be able to control its 3D position well enough to use a fairly long focal length and capture the required photos for very high resolution panoramas. I'm sure people are doing this.

  • Chris,

    Love the Gigapan stuff. Wish I could do this with KAP....

    I would use my zoom bracket KAP scripts (CHDK) to capture three levels of zoom (wide, mid zoom and full zoom).

    Stability is always an issue with KAP and this becomes more acute as the zoom levels increase.

    I experimented with a similar but different approach with Microsoft Photosynth where a collage of pictures taken of the same subject but from different angles and zoom levels dynamically stitched together images so you could "fly" around an object and zoom in and out. Impressive tool. Sad to report here that Microsoft shut down this "free" service in February 2017.... I will miss it. Perhaps a few on this forum know of similar offerings that we can funnel our KAP photos to.


  • That's a good idea to bracket zoom levels. I guess the autoKAP program would be optimized for the longest focal length, otherwise those photos will never stitch together. Capturing the other photos will make the whole thing take longer, so that might be counterproductive. Maybe a good approach would be to take a couple of complete pan/tilt sequences at one focal length, and then change both the focal length and the autoKAP pattern. It's easy to make an Arduino sketch for the SkyShield autoKAP controller that starts with one autoKAP routine (small pan/tilt increments) and then switches to another (larger increments). Any pattern is possible. I have plans to deploy a sketch which starts capturing every pan/tilt position for stitching into spherical panoramas, and then switches to capturing only nadir and low angle tilt positions for doing structure from motion. Of course, if I had a Stratospool I could just haul in the camera and flip a DIP switch.

    It was very sad to see Photosynth shuttered. I had lots of KAP panoramas there, and many were embedded in posts at various web sites. The embedding for spherical panoramas was great in their smooth spherical viewer. I have tried to redo some of those embeds by putting the panoramas at They allow embedding with a good spherical viewer, but the site is very commercial and even the embeds can have ads or links to other panoramas. Also, they don't accept spherical panoramas unless they are truly 360° x 180°. If the image you upload does not have exactly twice as many horizontal pixels as vertical pixels, they display it in a cylindrical viewer. So I have to spend some time in Photoshop making fake blue sky to fill in the zenith which my KAP rig never captures.

    I also have some KAP panoramas at That site does not have a spherical viewer, but the embeds allow zooming in to see the maximum resolution. Unfortunately, does not have an SSL certificate (they are http, not https), so if you embed at any site with https, it fails. I have old embedded Gigapans at many sites which now return a blank rectangle.

    It would be great to hear of any other hosting sites that accept large files, have a spherical viewer for 360° panoramas, and allow embeds in a spherical viewer. Monthly fees of zero would also be good.

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