SUPER HIGH RESOLUTION: From China, the 24.9 billion pixel photo that’s blown minds

Shanghai – VIJAY SHAH via sources

If you are an amateur photographer and your only method of capturing the world around you is with the potato camera lumped in with your smartphone, the subject of this article might make you feel even more ‘crappy’ than before, or it might just inspire you.

Bigpixel, a Chinese company specialising in in-depth photography, hooked up with a handful of tourism promotion agencies in the city of Shanghai to produce a 360-degree photograph with the mind-shattering and eye-burning resolution of 24.9 billion pixels, or 195 gigapixels (195,000 megapixels), the second highest resolution panorama ever produced in Asia to date. Bear in the mind the average smartphone takes pictures at maximum 12 megapixels. Shot from the top of the 468-metre Oriental Pearl Radio & Television Tower in the city’s Pudong New Area, the image of Shanghai’s skyline is breathtaking in itself, but the real fun part comes when you zoom in on different parts of the image, using your mouse.


The detail of this panorama is so intense that you can make out the clothing and hair of people walking near the roundabout below the tower. From the default view you see when you open the website, these same people look like mere flecks of dust, a pixel or two in size. You can also see the fine detail on vehicles on the streets below, or become a virtual voyeur of sorts and spy through the windows of the various skyscrapers on view.

The Bigpixel scenery picture has blown minds across the internet, with people comparing it to the world’s most extreme re-interpretation of the classic children’s puzzle book series ‘Where’s Wally?’. Dan Landek tweeted: “That has fried my brain! You can zoom in to the back of the photo and read the number plates on the cars! Unreal”. Meanwhile, on Facebook, Ellie Hodgson exclaimed: “it is nuts how good this image is, and how far you can zoom in and the clarity of the image!”

Sue Tucker, also on Facebook, commented: “Omg you can see things on desks in those offices when you zoom in !!!”. Some commentators however disputed that the image was taken from a single camera shot at all, claiming that the panorama was in fact several hundred images cleverly stitched together. This was the case according to Digital Trends, which said that the picture took two months to set up. Around eight million people have already explored the jumbo holiday pic, which is said to be 2,000 times more precise than that taken by an ordinary camera, according to Business Insider.

Bigpixel also trades under the name Jingkun Technology. The Shanghai image has become the company’s centrepiece, and has helped broaden its appeal among the many Chinese and international companies it has worked with.

You can see for yourself at this link:


The Poke, Facebook, Facebook Inc.

“You can zoom all the way in to this 24.9bn pixel camera pic and minds are being blown” – The Poke (21 December 2018)

“195 Gigapixel Shanghai” – Bigpixel Studio

“We could explore this astonishing 195-gigapixel panorama of Shanghai all day” – Trevor Mogg, Digital Trends/Designtechnica Corporation (25 December 2018)

“A Chinese company said it created a photo with such a high resolution that you can zoom from thousands of meters away to see people’s facial expressions” – Christian Edwards, Business Insider/Insider Inc. (21 December 2018)


“Free stock photo of air pollution, architecture, asia” – Pixabay, Pexels




A LEAFLETTER’S PHOTO ALBUM: Photography special – Part 3

W28VJ46GBHSE   (Technorati code)

By Vijay Shah

Yet another great weekend here at Planet HalfEatenMind. It’s warm, sunny and Team GB are already third placed in the medal tally for the Olympics. I spent yesterday evening with family, celebrating the occasion of Raksha Bandhan (a Hindu festival where brothers and sisters celebrate their special bond; the sister tying a special coloured thread, or rakhi around her brother’s wrist) and my right wrist looks very blinging :). Today I am writing the third and final part of the Leafletter’s Album from my sister’s flat in East Ham, and my niece is trying her extreme best to distract me. Not even a Flintstones film is sufficient to keep her occupied…..

The last part of this special feature is of my working trip to the Docklands area of east London as my tenure at ABI Leaflet Distribution drew to a close. I had already made a couple of leaflet delivery stints in the Tower Hamlets borough. This area is famous for its massive council housing estates. These were good for us simply because all the flats were compacted together, so less leaflets at the end of the day. The downsides were lifts that were either broken down or stank of some drunkard’s urine, weirdos/crackheads/bored gang members and it was often a bad day for anyone who had vertigo or a deep fear of heights. There were times where I would be at the topmost floor of a tower block, look over the edge and feel my heart drop faster than a fall to a blood-splattered death on the concrete below. But, hey, such fleeting fear puts hairs on the chest!!

The Docklands were once one of the reasons why London became one of the world’s most prominent trading capitals. Hundred of ships plying  imports from the far-flung corners of the British Empire brought their wares through the river Thames and uploaded in the docks of the Isle of Dogs and Silvertown. By the 1970’s however the area went into a downward spiral of decline as bigger vessels and a larger port at Tilbury in Essex killed off the local docking industry. Regeneration gathered pace in the Eighties and have seen new transport links, shopping centres, high-rise buildings etc. pop up the length and breadth of the Docklands.

(c) 2007 V. Shah

LOCATION: Cubitt Town, Isle of Dogs

DATE: 27 April 2007

My first picture here was taken from a block of flats looking out towards the Greenwich peninsula, with the great Thames working its way in the background. The dome in the distance is the O2. Once a white elephant known as the Millennium Dome, it is now a formidable location for shopping, eating out and entertainment.  Right in front are a collection of blocks of new-build riverside properties built to accommodate the ceaseless influx of young professionals purchasing their first luxury pad. Personally I could see this picture forming the centrepiece image for a brochure for such modern apartments that local estate agents are always so keen to offer their more moneyed clientele.

(c) 2007 V. Shah

LOCATION: Leyland House in Hale Street, Poplar

DATE:  27 April 2007

I found this rough, but still very imposing mural painted onto the outer walls of part of Leyland House, a housing block not far from the A13 road and Polar Recreation Ground. The House forms part of the Will Crooks public housing estate which was built on the site of former slums that used to characterise the area in Victorian times. The foundations were laid in around 1937-1939 by the firm J. Simms, Sons and Cooke of Nottingham. Leyland House escaped with only minor damage during the Blitz a few years after the first residents moved in. Together with the nearby Devitt and Willis Houses, this section of the estate has over 150 residential units. The mural might have been painted by local schoolchildren as part of the community programmes that happen a lot in east London, sadly it is clearly suffering from exposure to the elements.

(c) 2007 V. Shah

LOCATION: Leyland House in Hale Street, Poplar

DATE:  27 April 2007

This is the other half of the world flags painting at Leyland House. London speaks more than 270 languages and often living here does feel like the whole world encapsulated into one city.

(c) 2007 V. Shah
(c) 2007 V. Shah

LOCATION: Isle of Dogs

DATE:  27 April 2007

These are what I could say are almost postcard quality images of part of the Docklands skyline. The red train in front is the property of the Docklands Light Railway, an automated metro train service that connects the Docklands and neighbouring areas. The DLR carries around 60 million passengers a year and is comparatively cleaner and more pleasant to travel on compared with the antiquated Tube network. A snapshot of how the Docklands have been modernised and upgraded in recent years…and the process is still continuing.

SOURCES: British History Online, Wikipedia.