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The City has created photos of several Chicago locations with tens of thousands of times more clarity than the image above.

I have been an avid photographer since eighth grade, so when I first started selling residential real estate 15 years ago, I jumped right in to the art of architectural photography. Now, I shoot nearly 100 homes per year, and the professional grade digital photo equipment I use has been a fantastic asset to my marketing.

However, I’m not the only one who appreciates the impact our fair city can make when shot with the right gear. The City of Chicago has apparently got its hands on a new tool with the ability to take super-high resolution photos, and the fruits of their labor can be seen on Chicago’s newly launched “Explore Chicago” tourism page in the “gigapan” gallery.

Gigapan is a new technology that recently gained attention after this photo was released – a super-high resolution shot of Obama’s inauguration that allows viewers to zoom all the way in to the faces of individual politicians and dignitaries. (Check it out… it really is cool!)

The gigapan is a robotic tripod onto which a consumer camera can be mounted and then directed to take overlapping photos of a landscape scene. The resulting photos are then digitally stitched together into a single photo with a staggering amount of detail (in the case of the inauguration photo, 1,474 megapixels).

When applied to Chicago, this means you can see which traders forgot to iron their shirts on the CME Group trading floor and who owns what barbecue grill in the Marina City complex.

So, will the gigapan soon be revolutionizing real estate marketing? Imagine the quality of the photos we could post online. Or perhaps buyers will be able to perform home inspections remotely in their pajamas? I’m not holding my breath, but then again, at a $300 introductory price, I am tempted to take the gigapan for a spin myself.


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