This 195 Gigapixel Photograph Lets You Zoom Into Individual Faces From the Top of a Tower

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Digital cameras were a destructive technology. Only the most diehard artists are still working on film, yet the pace of innovation hasn’t slowed. Check out the panoramas produced by this system. The photos are 24.9-billion-pixels. They don’t look like much when they’re zoomed out, but when you zoom in…. You can identify faces on the ground from the top of a skyscraper.

The images are being produced by BigPixel. The name is apt. The interactive possibilities are easy to imagine. The website allows you to look at any number of normal panoramas and then zoom into any part. Objects that are miles away are easily visible when zoomed in.

The images took off on Twitter this week, and people are hooked.

The Shanghai image is the star attraction on the site, and offers some intense clarity.  “The image was commissioned by the government in Shanghai,” IFLS writes, “and taken by BigPixel.”

Zoom in and you can see the skyscrapers in much better detail.

Keep going, and the city life on the street comes into view.

And then the cars themselves.

The site is offering other big-picture views, too, and all are interactive.

This one is of Hong Kong.

This one lets you see Tienanmen Square.

You can also check out Lhasa.

Each of these allows you to zoom in crazy close and move around the landscape.They are like puzzles that allow you to find hidden gems.

Some of the gems are pretty funny.

While the technology is being used to promote tourism, it also is being used in some more traditional advertising. There’s no limit to what’s possible with this, though.

Hopefully they’ll get some classic American cities on the site soon.