GigaPan imaging

The Archaeological Computing Research Group have begun to take advantage of GigaPan imaging within our analysis of archaeological datasets. GigaPan imaging offers the first solution for shooting, viewing and exploring high-resolution panoramic images in a single system, in other words, we are able to incorporate a number of images within one single crisp and vivid panorama.

GigaPan imaging can be used in relation with a number of different datasets. We are currently using this software to study large landscapes within one single context, which allows for similar areas within a landscape to be studied within one photograph. An example can be seen at Alton Barnes

We are currently using this imaging technique to create very high resolution RTIs which enables further analysis of surface features down to the micrometre. Currently we are also using this imaging technique within the excavation process to create high resolution images of each context layer, which can be used within the documentation and analysis of the excavation record.

From a 3D perspective, this high resolution technique can also be used to create accurate and precise textures; images taken and used as textures under normal photography techniques are often unusable as these images have a number of problems associated with them, such as lens distortion. The GigaPan software (Kolor Autopano Giga) enables the combination of several different photographs and eradicates lens distortion and anti-ghosting effects that are often seen with normal panoramas. The software also has the ability to process LDR and HDR images from the same dataset.

 The Archaeological Computing Research Group have recently hosted the 40th CAA Conference (CAA 2012) and part of the conference was the personal history of some of the delegates. We attached a large sheet of paper (over 6 metres in width) where delegates could write their memories from past conferences. We were overwhelmed with the contribution and as such we felt it important to document these personal memories so that we could share them with others. As the dataset in question was quite large, we could not capture this within once single photo using normal methods; instead we used 35 images and produced a high resolution panorama from the GigaPan imaging software where users can view all of the CAA memories recorded over the length of conference.

There are many more applications that this imaging process can be used with, but the most beneficial part of the process is its ability to have predetermined areas of interest (snapshots) within the panoramas. Users can simply click on these snapshots and the panorama zooms into the relevant position. This is of benefit within any photograph as we are able to clearly outline the intent and purpose of these images, showing and describing key archaeological features within the images, so that users from all over the world can view and understand our archaeological interpretation.