May 24, 2008

Alot of times when I look at commercials I wonder where it’s filmed at and what their thinking.



May 4, 2008

My name is Chuck. I have been using the Gigapan, and teaching it to others in the Computing Workshop. It’s very fun. I am excited about this new image making tool. I think this robot will slowly revolutionize image making as we know it. The gigapan image has such a powerful ability to command detail and render information, it will ultimately change the way humans see. This will take a while to happen, I admit. Nevertheless, it will change us.

This is a truth about all revolutionary technology. These new tools descend upon us. We build each new thing, in order to change the technology. Then the technology takes us over and changes how we see. We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us, you see?  We deny this at first. We evaluate every new technology in terms of the old ones. Each new tool is evaluated and valued in terms of its contribution to a time long gone. We are continually focused on the past, instead of the future. We have our gaze fascinated on the tools of the past and how they work. We sort of, walk into the future, backwards. Firmly fixated on the past. We call it  “hindsight”. Our vision of yesterday shapes the tools of tomorrow. As the smells of the old darkroom slowly fade, we clutch the rolls of film tightly in our hands, refusing to release the artifacts which are already dead, passed away and, more and more, useless. Do you see?

GigaPan student work to be in Warhol show

April 24, 2008

6 GigaPans from students in the class will be on exhibit at a show at the Andy Warhol Museum.  The show will be in July.  This is really exciting news!

A final decision about which GigaPans to include in the exhibit will be made shortly.  If you have additional ideas for GigaPans you would would like to see considered for the show, Saturday is the day to come and work on them!

If you have been (or will be) using a GigaPan outside of class this week, you should stitch (or make arrangements to stitch, if you do not have a computer at home that can stitch) and upload your GigaPans as soon as you can!


GigaPan Classes extended!

April 24, 2008

We will have 4 additional weeks of classes:

April 26th, May 10, May 17, May 24

Note that we are skipping May3rd!

The class time is 1-3.

We will meet at our regular room at LaRoche on April 26th.  Since several people have expressed an interest in meeting elsewhere, we will discuss meeting locations in class, and may decide on other locations for one or more of the last 3 classes.  (Check here, or check with me about location in May.)

Students/families, please let me know if you will be coming to a particular class meeting or not.  Not all teachers will be at each session, but teachers with whom you worked may be able to come and continue working with you if they know when you will be coming.  We can also make sure you are aware of any changes in scheduling (such as location).









Week 5 class

April 14, 2008

Derek did the inaugural 360 panorama for our group:

(thanks to Jack for helping with that, as well as appearing multiple times in it!)

John has a new, large, panorama up:

(thanks to Jim and Sarah for working on the mystery of the order of the pictures.)

Bill visited to learn about GigaPans and quickly got his first one up:

(we love to have people come & visit & work on GigaPans with us!)

Wanda contributed lots and lots of snapshots.

Sara’s game is posted:

Laurie (from LRDC) visited.

David is still working to do as much as he can on a Linux machine.

Thanks to all the teachers for doing such a wonderful job, and nice work, everybody!

To see all the Computing Workshop GigaPans that are on the GigaPan site (21 and counting):


Andy, Shawn and David- Old Post Office in Wexford

April 14, 2008



April 13, 2008


April 13, 2008

Opening Day- Trout

April 12, 2008



Hi from the other Sara!

April 12, 2008

Hope you are enjoying the Gigapanorama class!

Please make a Challenge for the students who aren’t in your class hour! Creating a challenge is open to students and teachers. This is a sketch of how to do this — but you may change it, creatively, and then I will fill in the gaps and assemble them all into one web page. 


Create a Gigapan Challenge

by Sara Masters ( 

Each class will be a team competing against the other two classes of teachers and students. I will assemble all of the challenges into one game.  The team with the highest score wins! 

All the students and teachers should begin their challenge for other Gigapan classes:

1. Mark a start location. (address, words, mark on Google Earth), The most fun might be to pick an existing Gigapan that already shows up on Google Earth.  I can add them to Google Earth if someone gives me their location in words/address.

2. Produce an image or snapshot that is found at the new location. This won’t be given through Gigapan, or else they’ll know the answer right away. If they all email it to me or something, I can assemble this opening page. Origin of picture – a snapshot or screen capture taken when in Gigapan.

BEST: use the student’s own Gigapan but the goal can be any Gigapan taken by r250 and/or CW participants (marked with these tags) or any in Pittsburgh.

3. Create a pathway to go between these landmarks, using the following:

   a. draw a pathway with straight lines and turns on a map.

   b. use street directions

4. Add any creative touches — such as hints.



Sara Masters

Wanda Spangler-Warren Light Forms show

April 12, 2008


Computing Workshop instructor Wanda Spangler Warren is having an exhibition at The Art Center in Butler, PA, through April 25th.




Valuable Tool & Fun!

April 12, 2008

Today will be my first experience using the Gigapan unit. I have been looking forward to experiencing its potential imaging possiblities and will be attending the Computing Workshops class today! It seems this technology has endless potential to generate fun, educational,  useful and historical images with a whole new window of visual observation of the world arounds us. It will be a valuable creative and technical tool to add to digital photographies already endless possibilites!

– Bill

Our First GigaPans

April 11, 2008

I’ve added some of our “little” GigaPans- the ones that weren’t big enough to upload to the GigaPan site- to some of peoples’ posts below. Take a look! To see larger ones, go to the GigaPan website ( and search on “cw”.


Endless Possibilities!

April 5, 2008

At first glance, the unassuming look of the Gigapan robotic camera controller does not produce excitement in the observer.  However, once you have gone through the process of creating a Gigapan, from camera setup through the photo shoot and “stitching” together of the indivdual zoomed in pictures, and ending with viewing the dramatic result, the proverbial “light bulb” will light in your brain, and you will smile!  The concept is really quite simple – snap a few dozen closeup pictures of a large scene and feed them to a computer program with the smarts to match them up and assemble them into one large composite view.  The power of the result, however, is far beyond simple in its ability to impress the senses.  I think the aspect of Gigapans that generates the excitement and gets your “Idea Mill” into gear, is the fact that the ability to zoom in on any segment of the full panarama would otherwise only be possible if the viewer were wielding a telescope!

My first experience with a computer was in the Navy in 1959, where the computer filled a room the size of a typical classrom.  As a programmer, I’ve watched the technology grow in power and storage capability over the years.  Perhaps this is why watching a small desktop computer “stitching” billions of pieces of a puzzle together in a reasonable period of time, makes ME smile!

–Jim Fox



March 29, 2008


Hi, my name is Beth, I am an adult taking the Computing Workshop’s GigaPan class. I have been interested in the many applications of computers for a long time. The GigaPan idea is facinating to me. I love to zoom in on the pictures and see all the different things that are going on that don’t appear at first. I’m excited to see all the different things the GigaPan students will produce.




Gigapan Mania

March 23, 2008

If you’ve ever heard about the Gigapan, then you know that in its simplistic design that there is something more about it then what is already said. Many people have talked about making something like this, but only a year ago did someone take our words and make something out of it. So? you wonder, what is the point of the mania? Well there is a reason to this kind of chaos. If we were to think that something like this could be used as an outside attachment, then why can’t we go a little further and make a tripod that can integrate the Gigapan structure. If this is not enough..just think what people can make with a little bit of technology and a whole lot of imagination. If there is a crude piece to the Gigapan..its that we have not come up with this idea sooner. I hope that we do less talking about an idea and get started sooner on the idea to make it a real life experence.

Good day and Ciao, and hope to see you later,

Samuel Barkowitz

P.S. Gigapan is wonderful!

A new twist to “I Spy With My Little Eye”

March 22, 2008

Wanda of Computing Workshop notes:

     Gigapan panoramas are so very useful for esoteric, educational, and instructional purposes.  But, I feel that one of the most fun aspects of it is the ability to play that age-old childhood game of “I Spy”!  It’s a treasure and scavenger hunt, all rolled into one. 

     As an artist, I am always interested in the little details and the patterns I see.  When I first looked online at the wonderful images possible with Gigapan robotic technology and software, I immediately focused in on things like brick patterns on buildings, stone strata in landscapes, color and pattern in street scenes, and the geometry of manmade and natural scenes.  Then it became a game to look at the tinier, more notable anomalies.  For example, it was fun to find a child with a toy, to find a book title on a shelf, to find a reddish stone amid all the grey ones, and to spot the frowning person amid happier people. 

     In our Computing Workshop, we enjoyed looking together at a Gigapan image and isolating some items that we put on the comments category.  In our comment, we used the “I Spy” technique.  It would be fun to create our I Spy list in rhyme, similar to the way the published “I Spy” books are presented, and perhaps to make a sequence of stitched panoramas on a particular theme.  The possibilities are truly endless, and I’m excited to be involved with this program and with these students.


March 22, 2008

Hi, my name is Derek. I was a student in the summer program for the past two summers, and this is the first time I took the Giga Pan class. I took giga pan because digital photography and video is something that I might like to go to college for.

       I am a freshman at the Freeport Area Senior High school. As my elective this year, I took TV production 1. In that class, we work on the news for the next day. We talk about things like upcoming school events, sports announcements, and sometimes we do funny skits about events.

        Next year I am thinking about taking TV production II. In that class, we make music videos, learn basic editing, and make short documentaries.

             I am very exited about this Giga Pan class, and I am exited about the program coming up this summer.



March 22, 2008

Hi! Whats up!! My name is Erica! Heres a little about me: 

I love animal, I have a dog, I also work at a horse farm and take lessons there once a week. I like to excerise, and I enjoy getting my good grades. I have wonderful active friends, we love to goof-off and prank one another. I have a cheerie disposition. Also, I love to write little stories and novles, about elephants, my favorite animals tied with giraffes and horses.

I love talking with people I am told I give good advice, but I am not perfect, no one is. And I love doing my cyber.

Sarah with an “h”

March 22, 2008

Hello Everyone,

I am Sarah.  The Sarah with an “h” at the end.   I volunteer on Saturday morning at 10:30am.   Students please come to class if you have signed up.  It can be a little discouraging for teachers to volunteer their time, then the students don’t show.  

 Working with the gigapan is most interesting.  I loved looking at the water droplets on the pine trees several feet from the photo site.  That gigapan is posted.  Love to zoom in and zoom out.

I will enjoy it when I can stitch and download pictures from North Park Lake.   I have been having some quarky issues with the download to the stitcher.  

This is the second week at LaRoche, holiday weekend.  Many first session students didn’t come.   Maybe it was the weather forcast, maybe it was the holiday weekend.

 These sessions are kind of an experiment to see how things flow together, how the gigapan works, problems with the gigapan.  Computer requirements for large gigapans are quite intense.   None of my computers at home can handle them.  Our Computing Workshop Gigapan Computers  are a bit better but there still have been some quarks.

I wonder if there are any archival beta software programs  that can handle lower capacity computers or macs that are not intel as I am not in the position to buy a new computer.  (Just  recently bought 2 digital cameras , one for me and one for my son.)

Talk to you soon


March 22, 2008

Hi, I am Jack. A regular novice of photography. I hope to get a lot better during this course.

I love working wih photos, either mine or others. I am still amazed at the changes that alterations to a picture can enhance its value of artistry. GigaPan is going a step further in enhancing a photo, allowing you to expand what is seen and to close in on certain aspects of the picture.


March 22, 2008

Hi I’m John. I like arcade stuff. I go to Fun Fore All every Saturday after computer class since were close by. This is my second week here in computer class. I have a website booked in my computer called, you can zoom in on different cities. I zoomed in on Disney World right on The Tree Of life and Epcot.




March 22, 2008

Welcome to the blog for Computing Workshop’s GigaPan class.  We are partnering with the Digital Imagers, CMU’s Robot 250 project  and CREATE lab!