The Microsoft 216 Megapixel Camera

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Did you know that Microsoft makes a 216 Megapixel camera? I didn't know either until I read it on Mark Brown's Virtual Earth blog, but it turns out that this is the photobeastie behind the orthogonal imagery on Virtual Earth. The UltraCams are also used to create the 3D models you see on Virtual Earth through photogrammetric processing.

The UltraCam snaps an impressive 14,430 x 9,420 pixel image using 13 CCD's, sending them through 14 CPU's. The camera captures data at 3Gbits/sec, which led them to use two Infiniband cables rather than 14 firewire cables. Look for more info in a future episode of ShutterSpeed.

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Hi Larry, thanks for the post on our UltraCam and Virtual Earth.

    Slight correction, this camera is used to capture our orthogonal (straight down) imagery, not out oblique (birds eye) imagery.

    I will be talking more about this camera at Tech Ed next week and also hanging out at the Fish Bowl at Tech Ed too if people have questions.

    Thanks again.

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