Business Technology

Monday 22 January 2018

Mount Everest captured in stunning detail with two-billion-pixel interactive image

Mount Everest
Mount Everest

A climber and filmmaker has created the most detailed image of Mount Everest ever, made up of a mosaic of hundreds of photographs.

From afar it seems like a normal photgraph of Mount Everest, however, when you zoom in it allows people sitting at their desks or at home to view the world's highest mountain like never before.

The image is made up of 477 individual photographs, taken during the climbing season in spring 2012 from vantage points all around the mountain with a 300mm lens.

The panoramic photograph was captured from the Pumori viewpoint. In the foreground is the Khumbu Icefall and it is possible to zoom in and see people roaming around the Everest Base Camp below.

The project was headed by American mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears, who, in 1985, became the first American to reach the summit.

"The Khumbu Icefall is clearly visible here, and one can easily see the hustle and bustle of Everest Base Camp below," he told a news website.

"It's just extraordinary and we're so excited by that image, and people love clicking on things and zooming in.

"We want to tell the bigger story of climate change in the area, and we are working with Microsoft and the Royal Geographical Society on this."

Mr Breashears, who has climbed Everest five times, is studying how climate change is affecting the mountain as part of his GlacierWorks, non-profit, project.

"Just 1/100th of our imagery is on the site, and the storytelling possibilities are incredible - people love to move things.

"It started out as a simple concept, and every time we visit we find out more - this is not even the tip of the iceberg, we want to take people all over the mountain with 120,000 pictures from a helicopter in the region.

"We are building this with Microsoft, and we could soon be able to combine the old and new pictures so people can virtually 'swipe' images to see how they looked in the past."

Named after George Everest, a Welsh Surveyor-General of India from 1830 to 1843, the mountain is the highest in the world at 29,029 ft (8,848 metres).

By Barney Henderson

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