Panoramia!

Recently, my work was gracious enough to purchase additional monitors for my workstation. I guess all my ranting about increasing productivity with multiple monitors payed off! Now I feel obligated to get more work done, but first I have to waste time by looking for panoramic wallpaper!

You’d think there’d be lots of tri-monitor wallpapers out there, something 4800×1200, but after an extensive search the results were entirely disappointing. It turns out I wasn’t searching with the right keywords. Don’t bother searching for anything with the word “wallpaper” or “multi-monitor”, instead just simply google “autostitch”.

That’s right, autostitch. Autostitch is a small program created by Mathew Brown, a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. Autostitch is based on research by Brown and his supervisor Professor David Lowe. The program automatically recognizes similar images and “stitches” them together to form a seamless panoramic. Despite the stigma of being “academic software”, autostitch is a revolution in creating panoramic images.

I have always avoided the desire to take dozens of pictures in a wide panoramic. Think of those idiots on top of the Eiffel Tower taking a series of photos in a slow rotation. I never thought there was a point to that activity, not without expensive cameras capable of capturing a real panoramic image. Autostitch proves that even cheap digital cameras can produce amazing panaormic images, perfect for my multi-monitor display!

Here is my first attempt with Autostitch:

Solana Beach – near my house

What’s more, I even managed to produce a great image of a simple street corner:

I’ve linked to the full-size images for those of you with tri-monitor displays looking for a 4800×1200 pixel wallpaper!

Overall, I am in awe of the quality of autostitch. Photography often fails to capture the simple beauty of an ocean, or a mountain, or even a street corner. Beauty is often found in the full breadth of view, the vastness of contrast between a simple street and an ethereal sky. Autostitch enables anyone with a camera to better capture the experience of a breathtaking ocean, or even a breathtaking walk around the neighborhood.

And now back to my multi-monitors!