Photo Credit: Rupert Taylor-Price – flickr.com
As an accomplished photographer, filmmaker and the first American to summit Everest twice, mountain climber David Breashears is now working with the non-profit organization GlacierWorks to create a groundbreaking, data-rich interactive photograph of Mount Everest. It’s called the “gigapan,” and it consists of 3.8-billion pixels stitched together from 447 high-quality photos. The picture can be used by scientists to visually monitor the effects of climate change in the area, including the retreat of glaciers and year-round ice. Climbers could also take advantage of the project to look for new route possibilities.
This masterpiece of Mt. Everest photography is not yet complete; GlacierWorks is currently building a full interactive tour of Everest. Eventually, users will be able to navigate around the three-dimensional digital massif and even peek inside tents pitched in base camp. One of these tents serves as an ad hoc art gallery where Breashears hung a photography exhibit.
Breashears has also been working with the Royal Geographical Society in London to create a series of ‘before and after’ photographs showing the effect of climate change since 1921 and hopes to combine this project with the current one so viewers can see how the view has transformed over time.
With film credits like “Cliffhanger” and “Seven Years in Tibet” to his name, Breashears has a pretty sweet artistic track record — and with how this gigapan looks so far, we’re pretty psyched to see the final product.