Thursday, December 20, 2012

Climbing Everest

This is Everest. Maybe you've imagined yourself exploring its slopes. Well, I discovered on the NPR website an interactive image that will allow you a taste of what that would feel like.


According to the website, David Breashears, a photographer for GlacierWorks, has been photographing the Himalayas using a process of stitching together 400-plus images to form "gigapan" images containing over a billion pixels. One of those images--containing 3.8 billion pixels--is on the NPR site.

It's pretty amazing, and easy to interact with. Just follow the green squares. But it's just the beginning. From the website:


Breashears and his team allowed us to embed this teaser image on our site. But, he says, this barely scratches the surface of where the project is headed. "It's hardly even a demo," he tells me over the phone. "It's missing 99 percent of its functionality, which is audio and video and the ability to access other curated content."
When complete in a few months, this will serve as a completely interactive tour of Mount Everest. You will be able to go into the Tibetan monastery, get to know the sherpas who work with the GlacierWorks team, or learn more about glaciology and the history of climbing.
"You'll be able to choose, and it'll all be there in an image," says Breashears. "But the image starts the narrative."

Click here if you'd like this first taste of an Everest adventure. Then, maybe, like me, you'll be looking forward to that Tibetan monastery and getting to know a few sherpas.

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