GigaPan at Science Fair in Aldeia, Brazil

GigaPan was highlighted in three booths during the science fair at the Internacional School of Aldeia (EIA) in Camaragibe - PE, Brazil.

The theme for the science fair was I Like and I Share My Love for Aldeia. Aldeia is a neighborhood 15 km west of the city of Recife with a large area of well preserved Atlantic Forest.

Mrs. Juliana’s 4th grade booth used a GigaPan image as a backdrop. This GigaPan was taken by a group of 6th grade photography students. The image is of a fruit stand located about 100 meters from the school. The booth showed the importance of informal business in Aldeia.

Mrs. Ana Maria and her students designed a recreational guide for Aldeia. She used a GigaPan image taken of a small stream located on school property. View the GigaPan with the snapshot guide here:

Mrs. Vivian used an image of a Cashew tree to represent a timeline of Aldeia. The fruits, which were represented by photos, were hanging from the large print. On the left branches of the tree, the images show Aldeia before its major growth and development, and the pictures on the right of the tree, were current images of Aldeia.

The education gained and the experiences had, working with GigaPan and each other at EIA, is just the beginning. There are many more projects on the horizon.

Guest post by: Clara Phillips, Escola Internacional de Aldeia

Educational Technology Fluency at CONTEXT 2015

The Context 2015 Conference held April 21-23, 2015, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was an amazing opportunity to meet, connect, and learn from so many knowledgable and passionate educators. I attended on Wednesday and enjoyed hearing Illah Nourbakhsh welcome attendees in the Carnegie Museum of Art and update everyone on the fantastic work from teachers and students using CREATE Lab resources to connect with their communities and use technology in creative ways. A nice tie in to Earth Day, I especially enjoyed learning about the Lemonade Stand project where "young scientists" used digital data collected with the CATTFish, a device which measures water quality. Do you know what's in your water?  These kids do; and they found a "sweet" way to educate others and build awareness. Check out out this video:

I was inspired by Keynote Speaker, Indira Nair. She discussed how technology at the root of the word means art and expression.  She advised us that “shared language leads to shared understanding.”  She also explained that technology education is “guiding [students] to thinking of and working in a bigger system with appropriate choices, ethics, languages, and voices.”  Her stories about her teaching experiences were entertaining and endearing. She gave an example of a high school student who asked a speaker at the end of his presentation on algae, “Who cares?” Teachers in the audience gave a little chuckle and Indira explained how she quickly rephrased the question for the presenter, saying, “What Joe means is…” But she went on to explain how she thought the student’s question was “very, very deep.” This powerful example stressed the importance of making meaningful lessons. She shared  how she would always “tell her students up front” what she was “trying to do” and that she “made sure her students CARE about and understand WHY” she was “trying to teach something and not  just WHAT she was teaching.” She left us with the same words she delivered to her students at the end of her courses, “I hope you leave with more questions than when you came in.” I would love to have been a student in her class!

We enjoyed a rainy Earth Day walk outside to CMU with a colorful umbrella parade. We were welcomed with hot coffee and dispersed to our choice of sessions or workshops. I enjoyed Riverpoint Academy teachers, Regan Drew and John Marshall, share examples of student’s using “real tools, to solve real problems, for real people.” I loved their way of introducing tools by leaving them out and allowing the student’s natural curiosity to lead them to learning about their uses and build on their own interests and talents.  Robert Bandao and Rick Malmstrom, from the Ellis School had a dynamic presentation on teamwork with collaborative strategies for integrating technology in creativity ways. Their presentation included a cross-cultural exchange with a school in Brazil as an an example of showing how technology makes it possible to expand beyond the walls of your classroom.

It was standing room only in the Tech Fluency Session, followed by a boxed lunch with a choice of sandwich, cookie, and the best potato chips, I ever tasted.  I enjoyed sharing ideas about CREATE Lab and the GigaPan at lunch with some out of state educators who work at the collegiate level. If you haven’t seen any GIGApans yet, check out as a resource for your classroom and look at for some great ideas for classroom use with CREATE Lab.

The Context Clinic was a wonderful opportunity to visit different stations to learn about tech fluency from experts!  There were teachers taking notes, brainstorming, sharing ideas and advice.

I joined Mac Howison (Sprout Fund), Gregg Behr  (Grable Foundation), Jim Denova (Benedum Foundation), and Megan Cicconi (Allegheny Intermediate Unit) in a Workshop on Idea Generation: Refining Projects for Grant Writing. The panel presented information on local grant opportunities and allowed time for small group work to craft or develop an idea that could lead to a grant proposal. As a classroom teacher, I was happy to share some grant writing tips including:

    1. Be creative and follow your passion when looking for grant opportunities.
    2. Look for that “shared language” that Indira Nair talked about in her Keynote.
    Take advantage of the resources and contacts that you have.
    3. Be an innovator.  Indira Nair also told us that “innovators, know one thing well, but can expand beyond it.”  Look for opportunities to collaborate with other groups to make connections for support and for project sustainability.
    4. If you don’t get what you need at the start, don’t be afraid to keep asking.  Be positive, and ask someone else for support or help.
    5. Say THANKS.  Explain to the group who offered support how you will help share their message.  Speak at conferences to share your work and spread the good news of your success.

The conference was a great experience and a way to connect with some old friends and make new friends. Thanks to conference team, you did a fantastic job.
And special thanks to the conference organizers and teams.  I hope everyone will continue the conversations started at the conference in in the words of Indira Nair, “I hope you leave with more questions than you came in [to the conference] with!”

Here is an Animoto with some photos from Wednesday at the conference.

Guest post by:
Zee Ann Poerio, K-8 Computer Teacher
St. Louise de Marillac School

Remarks to the WV Board of Education

Last year we attended the West Virginia Board of Education meeting to introduce them to the Satellite Network. This September we returned to to update them on the Network's activities in West Virginia over the last year

The people in the group photo, from left to right, are: Karen Savitz ASSET STEM Education, Jeffrey Carver West Virginia University, Jessica Meyers ASSET STEM Education, Rachel Hite CREATE Lab, Lou Karas West Liberty University, Dror Yaron CREATE Lab, Carrie Beth Dean Marshall University, Stan Maynard Marshall University

I’m Lou Karas, Director of the Center for Arts & Education at West Liberty University. I’m here today with my colleagues from the CREATE Lab Satellite Network. With me are Dror Yaron and Rachel Hite from the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University; Stan Maynard and Carrie Beth Dean from the Harless Center at Marshall University; Jeffrey Carver from the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University and Jessica Meyers and Karen Savitz from ASSET STEM Education.

Last fall, professor Illah Nourbakhsh the Director of CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute shared with the you the story and vision of the CREATE Lab and its Satellite Network.

We’re here today to give you a brief update on the work of the CREATE Satellite Network in West Virginia.

Update on the work of the CREATE Satellite Network in West Virginia

Over the past year, the satellite partners have worked, throughout WV with over 1,200 children, Pre-K through 12th grade and more than 700 educators, both teachers in the field and pre-service students at the three universities.

We are empowering a technologically fluent generation through experiential learning opportunities in and outside of school. The technology is the raw material, a tool for a child to use to explore and address real world issues, to learn - and communicate - about their own environment and perspective.

We’ve been able to take new technology tools from the desk of an engineer at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute to the hands of a child in rural West Virginia, making them among the first to gain access to these innovations.  Each of the Satellites not only provides training on the use of these technology tools but also, in many instances, is also able to lend the tools to teachers throughout the state.

Over the past three years the CREATE Lab Satellite Network has grown from a partnership between the CREATE Lab and the school of education at Marshall University, to a network including Marshall, West Liberty, West Virginia University, and Carlow University as well as ASSET STEM Education. Each Satellite team adapts and uses the CREATE Lab innovations in a locally meaningful way with the educators and future educators they support. Similarly, working closely with the CREATE Lab, the Satellites bring their communities’ needs to bear on the technology innovation process.

As the Satellite Network model of outreach is gaining traction and in light of its rapid growth, we recognize now is an appropriate time to invite more perspectives and stakeholders to the table, as we consider how to meaningfully direct and leverage the momentum and resources at hand. This has resulted in the formation of an advisory board that will meet for the first time later this fall at West Liberty.

Our work with children has focused on using four of the CREATE Lab technologies:

Message from Me

Message from Me enables young children to better communicate with their significant adults about their daytime activities at early childhood programs through the use of digital cameras, microphones, e-mail, phone messaging and other technologies. Originally developed using adapted computer kiosks, the program now uses an app developed for the i-Pad.

The Harless Center has been at the forefront of using Message from Me in their Pre-K classroom and sharing their experiences with others around the state.

The Children’s Innovation Project

The Children’s Innovation Project takes a broad interdisciplinary and integrated learning approach, focusing on creative exploration, expression and innovation with technology. Children explore and learn about electricity through hands-on engagement with a kit of components designed for young hands. Utilizing this learning, children disassemble toys, identify components and then repurpose and reconfigure these internal components into new circuits, empowering them with new relationships and understandings of their world.

The Harless Center has also taken the lead in the use of the Children’s Innovation Project in West Virginia schools. In addition ASSET and Carlow University are developing professional development programs, which will be shared with the Satellite partners for their use.

Arts & Bots

The third program is Arts & Bots. The Hummingbird robotics kit is designed to enable engineering and robotics activities for ages 10 and up that involve the making of robots and kinetic sculptures built out of a combination of kit parts and craft materials. Hummingbird provides a great way to introduce kids to robotics and engineering with construction materials that they are already familiar with. Hummingbirds have been used in nearly every aspect of the curriculum: teachers and students have completed Hummingbird units in science, art, math, history, english, drama, poetry, and character education classes. The kits have also been used in numerous summer camps, after-school programs and other community-based environments.

The CREATE Lab had been awarded a three-year $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to support the “Creative Robotics” project, an innovative program that introduces robotic technology into non-technical middle school classes. It is the intent of the research project is to identify and nurture students with an affinity for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

All 7th and 8th grade students at Springdale Junior-Senior High School in the Allegheny Valley School District outside of Pittsburgh and all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the Mingo County Schools — a total of 900 children annually — are using the robotic kits developed at Carnegie Mellon University. They will use the kits to complete at least one project or assignment each year in required courses such as health, earth science and language arts.

The project also includes faculty members and pre-service educators in the schools of education at Marshall and West Liberty universities. We are working with CMU researchers to develop the curriculum and integrate the project into both existing and new courses for our students.


GigaPan is an earthly adaptation of NASA’s Mars Rover imaging technology - GigaPan helps bring distant communities and peoples together through images that have so much detail that they are, themselves, the objects of exploration, discovery, and wonder. Using a small robotic device, point and shoot camera, stitching software, interactive online platforms and large-scale prints, GigaPan is enabling people to explore, experience, and share each other's world.

West Virginia University is working with North Elementary School in Morgantown, to train the teacher to both use gigpan images as well as generating their own gigapan images.  The technology integration of Gigpan is being conducted in and around the Garden Based Learning project at the school.  The ability to take super high resolution images during the garden growing season and then utilizing those images during the non-growing months in the winter allows teachers to extend the garden based learning curriculum through the non-gardening months.

At West Liberty, we have incorporated learning how to use the GigaPan images and technology into several courses in the professional education program. We are also working with the art teachers in Ohio County Schools supporting them in the integration of GigaPan into their classrooms.

A key focus of the Satellite Network is to provide professional development opportunities for both teachers in Pre-K through 12th grade settings around the state –and- for our pre-service students

We have presented at conferences throughout the state included the West Virginia Technology conference and the West Virginia Art Education Association conference. The partners have provided opportunities ranging from GigaPan workshops lasting a few hours to weeklong Creative Robotics programs. It is important to note, that these programs are only the beginning of our work with teachers. Each Satellite provides on-going support to the teachers.

We are emphasizing the integration of the CREATE Lab resources into pre-service education because we believe it is important for our future teachers to learn these skills and technologies throughout their undergraduate years so they will be fully prepared to integrate them into their classrooms. ASSET, as our newest partner, will be involved in the expansion of this work.


I would like to acknowledge the amazing work done by Debbie Workman, Carrie-Meghan Quick Blanco and Cathy Walker. They devoted countless hours building the programs and services of the first Satellite site at the Harless Center. Over the summer, Debbie and Cathy retired and Carrie-Meghan moved on to another position. Their enthusiastic support has helped the other two Satellite sites get off the ground.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the support of Benedum Foundation and Jim Denova.  Jim has not only provided financial support for our work but has also shared connections and given us guidance as we expand the Network’s programs and services.

Looking ahead

next spring, The CREATE Lab Satellite Network and The Sprout Fund are partnering to present the first annual Creative Tech Conference: Best Practices of Creative Technology in Education on April 21 through the 23 in Pittsburgh. The Creative Tech Conference will ignite productive dialogue and spur the exchange of ideas about the use of creative technologies (or creative use of technologies) in education, teaching, and learning.  

The conference will feature two tracks of programming: Practice and Ecosystems. The Practice track will feature educators sharing ideas and stories around their methods and experiences with integrating technology creatively and successfully into their classrooms and programs. The Ecosystems track will focus on discussions about the networks and conditions that support and empower meaningful technology practice in education. We hope you will consider joining us for the conference.

In the mean time, we also invite you to visit us at Marshall, West Liberty and WVU to see the work of the CREATE Lab Satellite Network in action this school year.

Thank you,

Lou Karas, Director of the Center for Arts & Education at West Liberty University.

GigaPan Curriculum Collection - Celebrating 41 Educators

For the past six years, CREATE Lab GigaPan outreach has inspired projects in 20 countries, engaging 1,176 educators, 6,371 students, and 153 leading scientists across the globe. 

Today we are proud to announce the release of a GigaPan curriculum collection including 20 lesson plans, based on projects that were developed and implemented by 41 of our partner educators, featuring a variety of content areas and unique approaches to GigaPan. We're proud to show off their work.

The curriculum collection is available on:
Each unit details the related common core and state standards.

In addition to our gratitude toward our partner educators, we dedicate a very special thank you to Jennifer Geist of  Zeitgeist Creations Global Education Tools, who curated all the unit plans and uniformly formatted them for easy reference and implementation. To complete the collection, Jennifer bundled these units with educator guides for online resources, hardware, activity ideas as well as a project design template.

Photography becomes transformative when the image maker is empowered to capture what is most valuable to them, and even more so when they share this perspective with others. By creating and sharing GigaPan images, educators, students, and scientists can share the stories of their own landscapes and ignite conversations with participating groups all over the world. 

We asked some of the educators featured in this collection to share their perspective about GigaPan. 

Here's what they said:

Elizabeth Lallathin, Kellogg Elementary School, Huntington WV, USA

"Using GigaPan in my classroom has allowed all readers access to inferencing skills and to be part of a greater conversation. Images found on have become a virtual window to the settings of books, lessons, and news. Readers are able to place themselves inside of the picture and see it close up. The images grab the audience and hold the attention begging the onlooker to inquire more deeply with every zoom...GigaPan is a tool that I highly respect and enjoy using within my classroom."

Download Elizabeth's projects: World of Diversity and Travels Through Literature

Hari Prasetyo, SMA Al-Izhar, Jakarta, Indonesia

"GigaPan is an amazing tool. Using GigaPan has taught me and my students many things, such as, partnership, exchanging the ideas, and because we are from Indonesia we practice our English conversation by communicating with our partner school. The gigantic panorama produced by the GigaPan enables us to find/zoom in on unique or strange pictures/phenomenon/scene in our daily activities or cultures. We then can discuss these findings within our class or ask for an explanation from our school partner's students and teacher.  So much cultural diversity or biodiversity that we can understand and learn about." 

Download Hari's project, School Daily Activities, here.

David Williams, Huntington High School, Huntington WV, USA

"What I liked about the GigaPan is that it allowed the students to make discoveries without me telling them and it allowed me to see what interested them. It allowed their peers to help them because they were the only ones online to communicate with. It made the students excited and engaged. I had fully engaged students and by being on the computers students that might not participate in discussions could discuss via the keyboard. This project did a good job hooking my students on learning about the Incas."

Download David's project, Inca & Ancient Civilizations, here

Linda Twedt, South Fayette Middle School, McDonald PA, USA

"The magic of GigaPan is as much in what it can show as in what it can 'erase'. With assistance, we were able to peek inside the contents of a frozen food truck seemingly without the doors. GigaPan excites the students with its Facebook-style interface, allowing them to use their foreign language skills to get to know their partners, who may live many thousands of miles away."

Download Linda's project, Alimentation/Nutrition, here

Briana, student of Brandon Keat, Propel School, Pittsburgh PA, USA

“I must admit Gigapanning for me became a new craving! All I thought about when I walked around was 'this would be a great place to do a GigaPan.' I learned it all – how to set the machine up and how to adjust everything correctly and take awesome pictures. It was an amazing experience and I'm glad I got to be apart of it!"  

Download Briana's classroom's social studies project here

Khosi Ntuli, Tlhatlogang Junior Secondary School, Soweto, South Africa

"I am an educator teaching Life Orientation at Tlhatlogang Junior Secondary in South Africa. Students are faced with challenging dilemmas. Life is all about choices and priorities. My subject aims at equipping them with skills and techniques to face their challenging background. Meeting with other educators made me realize that one way or the other we are all the same. We are faced with the challenge of changing the minds of those kids that God has placed to our care.”

Download Khosi's project, Global Health, here

Becky Severino, Beverly Elementary School, Beverly WV, USA

"The Self-Portrait GigaPan project sprang from a discussion with a preschool teacher about found objects. We decided that we would ask our students to go on a treasure hunt at home and bring to school any small treasures they could find. We used the objects as springboards for creative play. When it seemed that the students had exhausted all possibilities, we introduced the concept of self-portraits. Using the GigaPan site, we visited museums and art galleries to see original self-portraits by famous artists. We used our found treasures to build faces, working without glue so that we could change our work, revisit it, recreate the faces depending on the objects chosen. Finally we created our own self-portraits. We then created puppets from our objects and wrote stories about their lives.

We were so fascinated with that GigaPan that we decided to create our own using the self-portraits of famous artists. We made small thumbnail copies of their works and placed them in various spots around our classroom. We then made larger versions of the same pictures and used those to cover our faces and placed ourselves in the GigaPan.  We were very pleased with the outcome of our work!"

Download Becky's project, Beautiful Stuff: Self Portraits, here

Bonnie Conner, Milton Middle School, Milton WV, USA

"I created the project for a classification unit I do near the end of the year. My students are always amazed at how the GigaPan works. Students enjoy trying to find the organisms and classify them. I even taught a student teacher how to use the GigaPan last year and used it in my digital imaging club with 6, 7, and 8th graders."

Download Bonnie's project, Nine Phyla of the Animal Kingdom, here

Marti Louw, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA, USA

"Gigapixel technology brings a 21st century spin to the natural history diorama. Explorable images not only make accessible the remote, rare and hard to see, the technology enables learners to explore, observe and discover meaning in their own way."

Download Marti's project, Stories in Rock, here

Jason Jackson, Beverly Hills Middle School, Huntington WV, USA

"The projects main focus was to broaden the horizons of children. Many places around the world seem so similar to us here in the US, but the differences in everyday activities, like grocery shopping, can be surprising. During this project we took time to look at local prices for a gallon of milk and compare that mathematically to the price of a gallon of milk in other locations. We started our investigation by asking family and friends who lived in other states what a gallon of milk cost. Then, we explored the GigaPan site and other internet sites for the price of milk per gallon. After locating several outlets, a convenient store in the middle east, a European Sweet Shop, an Asian open market, and grocery stores in the United States, the data comparison assignment started. As a culminating assignment, students had to use the information that we had learned to create a visual representation of how the prices varied among other objects located in our class' original GigaPan. Most students chose a spread sheet which related back to our math basis."

Download Jason's project, Nutrition & Markets, here.

View the full curriculum collection here

GigaPan Time Machine at MozFest 2013

The CREATE Lab will be heading to London on October 25-27 to take part in MozFest 2013. Every year Mozilla brings together webmakers, educators and innovators from around the world who all share the aim to make the web more open and encourage people to become webmakers, not just consumers. CREATE will be showcasing Time Machine and will be focusing on the interactive Google Earth Engine Landsat Timelapse. We'll explore through space and time our changing planet and create and share tours about the last 29 years.

Gigapan with Eyes as Big as Plates

This is the headquarters of Eyes as Big as Plates on a two month artist residency in New York's Redhook. A collaboration between the Norwegian photographer Karoline Hjorth and Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen, Eyes as Big as Plates photography series explores older people's nature relationship.

The residency was hosted by the Recess Session and located in the stunning Pioneer Works building in Brooklyn. This plastic hut was set up as a temporary measure to try to keep a small part of the studio warm in the winter. A precious Gigapan was also trusted in our care for documenting the process of photographing charismatic New Yorkers in the pockets of wilderness. 
(I had a hard time sitting still for too long, hence the red patches all over the image…)

Here is life outside the 'Hot Hut' and the actual studio space:
Gigapan was quite a crowd puller whenever it was in action. 
Here we are at Forest Park in Queens, capturing Bob amongst the pine forest. 
Eyes as  Big as Plates# Bob © Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth

Many Thanks Gigapan! 
More information on Eyes as Big as Plates: 

A Picture of Earth through Time

On May 9, 2013, a collaboration between Google, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and TIME, releases what is possibly the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public. More than a quarter-century of satellite images of Earth, combined with Google Earth Engine technology, yields for the first time an interactive time-lapse experience of the global changes of the planet we all inhabit, contributing to a global environmental understanding.

Find full article here:

image from

CREATE Lab at AIU's Center of Creativity

CREATE Lab projects were featured at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's Center for Creativity for the grand opening of its transformED digital playground for educators on Wednesday. GigaPan and Arts & Bots were demonstrated to local educators by students. More about the event can be read at the Trib's website.

Mt. Lebanon School District fifth-graders Meghan Maselko and Maddie Ganoe demonstrate digital storytelling with Puppet Pals 2 app for an iPad to Carnegie Mellon director of outreach CREATE lab Dror Yaron during the transformED grand opening at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit headquarters in Homestead.

Making Indiana Jones Jealous

Mito temples are among the earliest religious structures found in the Americas.  Dating to the Late Archaic Period (3,000-1,800 BC), these buildings consist of single room enclosures with two level floors and central fire pits that served as the focus for ritual activities.  Examples of Mito temples have been identified in the Central Andes Mountains and it is widely assumed that they date to 2,500-1,800 B.C.  In 2007, researchers with the Proyecto Arquelógico Norte Chico (PANC) uncovered the remains of a possible series of Mito temples at the coastal site of Huaricanga in the Fortaleza Valley (Peru) that may be the earliest sacred altars in all of South America.

            This year, Carmela Alarcón Ledesma (PAURARKU, Centro de Investigaciones Andinas) and I have established the Huaricanga Archaeological Research Project (HARP) to explore these early ceremonial structures and to reconstruct the ritual activities that took place within them.  If these structures are indeed Mito temples their early dates may rewrite our 40-year-old understanding of the origins of this architectural tradition and its associated religious practices.  HARP is dedicated to applying innovative techniques to archaeological exploration.  Continuing in this tradition, we have teamed up with the folks at Carnegie Mellon to bring GigaPan technology to our dig at Huaricanga.

 GigaPan and Archaeology

             While perusing the GigaPan website it is easy to see the appeal for photographers.  However, what can GigaPan do for the archaeologist?  Archaeology is a lot more than finding interesting artifacts and uncovered long-buried architecture.  Since it is a destructive process, the careful documentation of the ancient past is crucial to the discipline.  Therefore, archaeologists spend most of their time sketching, measuring elevations, and most of all, taking photos.

            GigaPan offers the unique opportunity to capture panoramic views of entire architectural complexes, monumental mounds, or even excavation profiles, while preserving the smallest details.  For our project we used the GigaPan robot to capture a stunning excavation profile that details the entire series of Mito temples exposed by our dig this field season.  Please check out the amazing GigaPan here.  

 Pushing Boundaries to Infinity and Beyond…

             However, the profile GigaPan at Huaricanga was not my first at the site (for more GigaPan photos of other parts of Huaricanga, please click here).  I did, however, initially struggle with how can I incorporate GigaPan in a meaningful way without simply capturing wide views of monumental architecture as you can see in my other GigaPans.  After contacting my counterpart at Carnegie Mellon, Clara Phillips, I explained to her the project and how HARP uses a tall ladder to capture overhead shots of the excavations.  A light bulb popped in her head and Clara thought, “Why not put the GigaPan on top of the ladder?!”

            This great idea was quickly dispatched once I realized that the platform on top of the ladder is too narrow to support the tripod, but I wanted to push further, “to infinity and beyond…” as Buzz Lightyear says.  Not to be discouraged I looked around and told Carlos, our driver, to pull the truck over parallel to the canal.  Just like an experienced city driver he pulled in as closely as he could.  I mounted a large piece of plywood on top of the roof rack to serve as a base and I set up the GigaPan on top of the truck.  To my surprise, the results were pretty impressive. You can view the GigaPan by clicking here.

            It is my hope that these initial GigaPan photos will inspire other archaeologists to more fully incorporate the technology into their work.  GigaPan is not only useful for high resolution vistas of dramatic landscapes, but also as an explanatory tool to describe stratigraphy or even to document artifacts.  While we may have to wait and see how gigapixel photography will impact the discipline, I am sure that Indiana Jones would be jealous of what we can do with GigaPan today.


Matthew Piscitelli

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Anthropology

University of Illinois at Chicago