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Record-breaking 320-gigapixel photo shows London in incredible detail

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If you’ve ever visited London but left feeling you wanted to see more, you might want to spend some time lost in a new 320-gigapixel panorama of the city, which also happens to be the largest image of its kind ever created.

The astonishing photograph comprises 48,640 individual images and was captured from atop the 189-meter-high BT Tower located in the center of the UK capital.

Positioned on the 29th floor of the famous London landmark, photographers from panoramic-photo site 360Cities shot the images using four Canon EOS 7D cameras with EF 400mm f/2.8L lenses (and extender EF 2x III teleconverters). The project took place during last summer’s London Olympics.

A rugby game in Regent's Park shown in great detail from the BT Tower.

A rugby game in Regent’s Park shown in great detail from the BT Tower.

“So many unknowns and variables had to be addressed in the planning of this unprecedented shoot, really the first of its kind,” said 360Cities director Steve Hercher. “Software and hardware were pushed to the limits, and rain, wind and other potential stumbling blocks had to be dealt with. Our photography team of Jeffrey Martin, Tom Mills and Holger Schulze did an amazing job and not a single individual frame from the more than 48,000 planned was missed.”

Here are a few stats relating to the shoot:

• 320 – the number of gigapixels in the final image

• 48,640 – the number of individual images shot

• 3 – the number of days it took to shoot all the individual photos

• 3 – the number of months over which the computer processed the final result

• 60,000 – times bigger than an iPhone 4 photo

• 98 – the number of meters long if printed in normal photographic resolution

• 24 – the number of meters high if printed in normal photographic resolution

• 20 – number of miles distant to the viewable horizon

Head here to explore the extraordinary image, which, by using the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ keys on your keyboard, takes you right up close to every part of the capital – you can even make out individuals inside capsules on the London Eye.

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