Gigapan Expedition to Carrie Furnace

On Wednesday, Ron Baraff of Rivers of Steel and Dror led us on a photo-expedition to Carrie Furnace in Rankin, where iron was made for most of the 20th century -- a furnace that helped to make Pittsburgh the steel center of the world.  The furnace was shut down in the 1980s, and has been rusting since.  Rivers of Steel has secured National Historic Landmark status for the site with the National Park Service.  Money and volunteer work are needed to preserve the site so that someday it can be opened to the public.  Our goal that day was to improve the photographic record of this incredible site.

Pictured below, Clara, Richard Palmer, Ron Baraff, Brian (a photographer from Pop City, who also happened to be there), and Dror prepare tripods, panoheads, and cameras.

Clara went up into the control room of the ore bridge (a huge gantry crane) and shot a gigapan of its interior.

I climbed up to the top of one of the furnaces and got a view down on the ore bridge and the skip cars (buckets) that were used to haul iron ore, limestone, and coke to the top of the furnace.

Those ingredients get dumped into the feed hopper here.

More photos here:


Gigapan zoomable photos I shot are here:

view from bleeder valve - very high!


from near top of blast furnace 6


feed hopper above blast furnace 6


stationary car dumper


control room on ore bridge


outside ore bridge crane control room
skip pit


Dror photographed the electrostatic precipitators


Paul Heckbert

Huntington High School Uses GigaPan to Capture West Virginia State History

Teachers at Huntington High School are combining GigaPan technology with West Virginia history to engage students and help them understand the unique culture that surrounds them.  

Coal and coal mining in West Virginia has had perhaps the biggest impact on shaping the history and now the future of our state. Coal is found in 53 of its 55 counties with 43 of them having minable reserves. Even though coal has played such an important role in developing WV and the future of our state depends on its use as an alternative fuel, few WV students know much about it. School teachers from Cabell County are embarking on a unique project this summer to develop the skills necessary to bring place-based curricula dealing with WV coal to their own classes. These teachers traveled throughout West Virginia utilizing GPS, scientific probeware, blogs, still/video cameras, and a host of software to develop a "virtual Tour" to many of the mining sites, both past and present, that have helped shape our WV history. Cabell county teachers learned about deep coal mining, surface mining, stream run-off, and the history of coal mining in general during their trip. 


Below is a video created by Josh Ratliff showing how GigaPan was used to document historical sites in West Virginia history.  

Marshall University 2011 Freshman Class Captured Via GigaPan!

Marshall University's June Harless Center trained a group from University College to capture GigaPan images for the freshman convocation that took place on August 18th.  Numbers on Convocation are not final however, turnout was estimated comparable to last year with 1800-1850 freshman students attending Convocation.( Please note, this is not the entire freshman class.)  

In addition,  Dr. Harold Blanco of the College of Education introduced new Marshall faculty to GigaPan technology and how to integrate it into their curriculum.  Departments included theatre, social work, math, education and pharmacy to name a few.

Gigapan as an Elective

Last school year in the spring I offered a Gigapan class as an elective.  It proved very interesting.  The kids that signed up for the class were kids who struggled in academic classes due to reading and writing challenges.  This was a great opportunity to get them engaged in reading and writing through gigapan. 

As the trimester started, I showed them lots of gigapan pictures to get them excited about the actual gigapan camera.  Then I taught them how to use the camera around school, both inside and outside.  Eventually, some of the students wanted to take the gigapan camera home and try out their skills.  Having kids actually take the pictures, post them, and write comments and questions enabled them to grow academically and socially.

My particular class had kids who otherwise would not talk to each other.  Gigapan became an avenue of collaboration for them.  They began to work together in the set up of the camera, deciding what to take pictures of, and working on the final presentation by posting questions and writing comments.  These gigapan "conversations" within our classroom helped them develop respect and concern for each other.  The gigapan brought us together as a class.  Lastly, the kids in the elective began to feel privileged because they knew how to do something that other kids didn't know how to do.

Overall, the gigapan elective was a great experience for the kids and myself. I would love to do it again and get the kids involved in documenting their community service projects.  Gigapan opens doors for kids and adults through panoramic pictures and conversations.

Ms. Johnson
Propel Braddock Hills High School

Magna Pictura: Classics Teachers Introduced to GigaPan At ACL Institute

On June 26, 2011, I presented GigaPan as part of a joint technology panel with the Excellence Through Classics Committee and the National Committee for Latin & Greek at the American Classical League Summer Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I enjoy sharing ideas using technology in the classroom especially with Classics teachers.  Using GigaPan is great way to integrate technology and bring the study of the ancient past to life.

Conference attendees, learned how to explore panoramas using the website and the process of taking snapshots and leaving comments. The display of a large gigapan print of the Roman Forum generated lots of interest and allowed attendees to participate in dialogues throughout the conference.  They were invited to attach sticky notes to the print in English or Latin, creating a truly interactive exhibit.

There were comments about objects in the panorama, observations about the weather, plant life and architecture. There was even a recommendation on a place to eat near the Forum.  Above an image of young girl, someone wrote, “Ecce! In pictura est puella.” (Look! In the picture is a girl.) Attendees would read the post and laugh. They recognized the famous first line in Ecce Romani – a Latin textbook. Notes also included drawings; someone had “rebuilt” the deteriorated sculptural form on the top of a column to restore Rome to all its glory. is a wonderful resource for teachers of all disciplines!

Special thanks to the Committee on Latin in Elementary Schools of the National Committee for Latin & Greek, Frank Neuperger, photographer, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University - with special thanks to Clara Phillips.

This is an animoto with images, audio and video clips from the event:


Zee Ann Poerio, Teacher-St. Louise de Marillac School
Chair for the Committee on Latin in Elementary Schools, National Committee for Latin & Greek 

Gigapanning in our Perimeter: 6 Young Women Experience Using the Gigapan Cameras


Ellis School is located between Shadyside and East Liberty in Pittsburgh, PA. Every year in May the Upper School (grades 9-12) has 10 days of special classes that we call “Mini-Courses” after exams are finished. Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab generously loaned us 4 Gigapans to creatively explore our immediate environment around our campus. Students made decisions about which direction to walk for each shoot. They photographed in Mellon Park, the new shopping center nearby, and East Liberty. As it was quite hot, we ended up photographing cool church interiors at least twice. Students were definitely inspired by the impressive architecture of these structures. They also experimented with sky gigapans, 360˚ views, extremely narrow views, and Escher-like staircases. We tried manipulating big tiff files and hit the limits of our computers’ ability to compute!

Rather than assign a theme, it was interesting to see what areas the students would chose to explore themselves. Some of the funky accidents and outcomes hinted at possible creative possibilities for future projects. The girls loved having their images on the public forum of the Gigapan website, and they loved looking at what other people posted all over the world. Students sometimes saved their stitched images as tiff files, sized them down, tweaked them in Photoshop and made fairly large prints. In short, they had a wonderful introduction to this unique medium.

Here are the website addresses for the student gigapans:

Hannah’s:    East Liberty Presbyterian Church    Bakery Square, East Liberty    Fountain, Mellon Park, adjacent to the Annie Seamans Memorial    Calvary Episcopal Church, East Liberty


Shae’s: East Liberty Presbyterian Church (360˚)   “Industry” (old Nabisco Factory)



Morgan’s:   Gated Courtyard at Mellon Park  Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh   Ellis Arbothnut  House


Ashna’s:  East Liberty Church   Mellon Park


Chelsea’s:  Sky Gigapan  (Mellon Park)  Stairway  Inside Church


Campbell’s:   Sacred Heart Church  Sacred Heart Church

Posted by Karen Kaighin
Photography and Video Instructor, Ellis School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Gigapan as a learning tool

During may 2011 I had the opportunity to join project Kelluwen and I
implemented a didactic unit in Language subject (spanish) with my
students of the seventh grade (12 years old) at Teniente Hernán Merino
Correa School in Valdivia, Chile.
We formed several groups of 4-5 students each and each group worked
reading a different tale, analizing the narrator types, the physics,
psychological and social characteristics of the characters and the
narrative space.
It was very interesting for the students and me that they, organized
in groups, had to represent a scene of the tale they read and
analyzed. Each student was playing the role of one character and all
the student within a group worked together to build scenery stuff.
Each scene was taken in a panorama and then uploaded and linked to
Remarkable is the possibility of making zoom to the details that we
use to ignore or use to be invisible in conventional photographs.
Also, using snapshots, students made conversation and funny comments
regarding the tale and the panorama session.
For my students it was a very positive and unforgettable experience
because it encouraged reading, team work and fellowship. Everyone
collaborate within their groups for taking a good panorama. Also, they
showed satisfied and proud when they saw the outcome of their work.
published in Gigapan web site.
I want to thank to Kelluwen and Gigapan Schools Dialogs projects to
allow my students to reach learning in different subjects, interacting
with innovative techologies in a very amusing, original and attractive
Some of the gigapan took below:
The project in

Carolina Stuardo Cavada
School Teacher
Teniente Hernán Merino Correa School

Gigapanning on the Interoceanic Highway in Peru

Gigapanning on the Interoceanic Highway in Peru

The Interoceanic Highway is an international, transcontinental highway that runs from Peru to the coast of Brazil.  The highway is a mixed blessing for Peruvian villagers who live along its path.  The highway brings benefits such as reduced time to bring products to market and increased traffic along its route has helped the economy in the area but the highway is also bringing problems.  Problems are both environmental (such as deforestation, illegal hunting and fishing, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, or loss of ecotourism value), and social (such as harm to indigenous populations, illegal crops, drug and arms trafficking, and prostitution.)

A group of Amazonian residents from the community of Puerto Maldonado have come together to make a sustained effort to develop ecotourism along the interoceanic route via ecolodges

These ecolodges are a viable economic alternative to other economic activities that degrade the environment, such as illegal mining and logging.  The project has been successful and some families have converted their land from farmland back to its original jungle state and are now engaged solely in ecotourism.

All businesses need marketing. This author was contracted to go into the jungle and photograph and film the families and ecolodges along the interoceanic route in Southeastern Peru.  The content generated will be used for marketing in websites and print.

One of the special capabilities that the author brought with him was a Gigapan Epic Pro camera.  Using a wide range of lenses he was able create a wide variety of images such as gigapixel images of the city and canopy of the rainforest as well as 360 virtual tours of ecolodges, papaya plantations and giant Brazil nut trees.  The great thing about having gigapan in the jungle is that it allows the web page visitors to explore the images in extreme resolution as well as explore 360-degree virtual environments.

The use of this technology gives these small ecolodges a competitive advantage that they normally wouldn't have.  If the ecolodges are a success then we have helps save the rainforest as well as helping the people.


Hiking through the jungle with my Gigapan Epic Pro


A brazil nut farmer in the peruvian amazon.  We used gigapan to take photos of his ecolodge, farm and giant brazil nut trees.