Paris 26 Gigapixels: A Virtual Tour

Paris Photo + Video + Film
by Carlo Alcos Mar 31, 2010
Arc de Triomf

Photo: Yvonne Alcos

A sign of the times, virtual tourism seems to be a recurring theme here.

In Google Tourism: Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?, I round up some tools on the web that let you explore the world without actually having to venture into it.

Similarly, Paris 26 Gigapixels brings you right to Paris, in high definition.

Come again?

From the About the project page:

Paris 26 Gigapixels is the name of the biggest assembled panoramic image of the world. It shows Paris in a very high definition. A gigapixel is 1 billion pixels! The image is a stitching of more than 2000 individual photos.

Apparently, if you wanted, you could print this baby out on a 6500 sq. ft. sheet of paper and still have great quality. I’m no mathematician, but I think that just might cover my bedroom wall.

What do I do?

When you visit the Paris 26 Gigapixels site, let it load. It can take a few minutes. You’ll see a panorama of Paris and some transparent control windows. You can move about, zoom in and out, and by clicking on the “i’s” you can get information about a particular landmark.

To locate a landmark quickly, they’ve conveniently placed shortcuts to the 20 most popular monuments. Click one to zoom in on it.

There is an option to view it in HD, but sorry Mac users, this doesn’t work for you. Being a Mac user myself, I can’t tell you how this looks.


If you’re interested in the technical aspects of this project, they break it down for you into steps: the shooting, the stitching, and the rendering.

You can also view this post to get into the mind of the photographer, Arnaud Frich.


For some sweet, sweet Parisian graffiti, check out Paris’ Surprising Street Art.

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