Infinite Photograph

August 18, 2009

Photo mosaics are nothing new, even though they are super cool and great fodder for zooming. Infinite photo mosaics, however, are even better.

The Infinite Photograph project by National Geographic starts out as a lovely landscape photograph which allows the user to zoom in on a square area of the photo, transforming that grid neatly into a photo mosaic comprised of pictures submitted to My Shot. Zoom in more to get an idea of what you’re looking at, then select a photo from the grid and start the process all over again. Very slick! (And they’ve even got one especially for pictures of dogs.)

There are limitations, of course: though it feels like it probably is “infinite” in that you can keep clicking into level after level of mosaic, some areas tend to repeat the same few photos over and over to achieve the right color. Once the My Shot photograph database has more to choose from, this will be less of an issue. Additionally, it feels clunky to click inside such a structurally rigid grid in order to zoom — but maybe I’m just spoiled by that buttery-smooth Seadragon zooming experience. (Is that too self-serving?)

Kate Welch


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