Very Cool: World's Largest Spherical Photo (18-Gigapixel Awesomeness)

Jeffrey Martin from 360Cities (our earlier coverage) has spent over a month stitching together what he believes is now the world’s largest 360-degree panorama shot.

Update: there’s also this pic of German city Dresden, which is supposedly 26 Gigapixels (but not spherical).

The photo was taken from a TV tower in Czech’s capital, Prague, and gives you a great digital glimpse of what the beautiful city looks like.

For maximum effect, head on over here and hit the fullscreen button.

Pan around the (18-gigapixel) image, and then zoom in on any part of the picture to be amazed how deep you can dive in. Heck, you can read the license plates off cars situated miles and miles away from the TV tower. The startup set up a treasure hunt that will kick off next week: find 30 things in the shot based on clues given on Twitter and Facebook and you get a chance to win $1000.

When you’re watching panorama shot, make sure to also right-click and check out the different views (I like the Little Planet view, which you can see in the video below as well).

From the press release (PDF):

The record-setting photograph was created from 600 individual exposures stitched together into a single image measuring 192,000 pixels in width by 96,000 pixels in height, or 18.4 billion pixels altogether.

When printed, it will be sixteen meters (54 ft.) long at standard photographic quality. Not only is the subject matter of this new panorama arguably more picturesque than the previous record-holder, the road to its creation is one that has spanned continents.

More technical details are available here.

The previous record holder is supposedly a 13-gigapixel photo of Harlem, NY, that became the world’s largest known panoramic image when it was shot back in 2007.

This blows it right out of the water.