World's first terapixel image, online via Flash

Medical imaging company Aperio has created what it’s calling "the world’s first terapixel image"–i.e. an image containing more than one trillion pixels. The image itself, depicting a breast cancer scan*, is a 1,095,630 x 939,495 pixel whopper that tips the scales at 2875.94GB.  More info is in the press release.

From a Photoshop/Adobe perspective, it’s cool to see this image displayed via the Flash Player, using the same Zoomify technology that’s in Photoshop CS3.  The folks at Aperio write,

You may be interested to know Aperio has implemented BigTIFF – support for TIFF files larger than 4GB.  After linking the new version of libtiff into our ImageServer, we were able to use the Zoomify viewer with no changes at all.  Pretty impressive. By way of demonstration we’ve made the world’s first terapixel image, and it can be viewed right in a standard web browser with the Zoomify technology."

[For more Zoomify hugeness, check out the 8.6 gigapixel fresco mentioned previously.]

*Not the most asethetically compelling image–unless, I suppose, it proves that one doesn’t have breast cancer

0 thoughts on “World's first terapixel image, online via Flash

  1. That’s unbelievable!
    I’d love to know more about the computing power that was required in order to process this mammoth image. 2,875GB… Dear lord…
    [Photoshop is theoretically capable of handling this kind of beast, but we capped the image dimensions at 300k x 300k because we the time required to process anything larger on current desktop hardware made testing impractical. –J.]

  2. Really this isn’t a terapixel “image”, it’s just a terapixel file made up of 256 copies of another much smaller image. Combining the same smaller image over and over again doesn’t result in a larger image – it just results in multiples of the same smaller image.
    Strangely enough they also refer to the viewer as “Aperio’s image viewing technology”, which makes me wonder if it really is a (modified) version of Zoomify, or if it’s their own software which is based on Zoomify.

  3. There is nothing special about Zoomify. It’s simply a matter of cutting the images into a bunch of pieces and only loading the parts which the viewer needs. It would be relatively trivial for someone to build a viewer that does the same. That is, if you don’t mind being sued by Roxio.,968,120
    [Tiled image viewers are nothing new. In fact, Photoshop 7-CS2 shipped with the very similar Export->ZoomView option. The difference now is that the tiles load through the omnipresent Flash Player. –J.]

  4. Hi Scott / everyone; couple of points in response to your comment.
    The terapixel image was indeed made by stitching together 225 copies of a single digital microscope slide, but it really is that big (3TB).
    Aperio’s viewer is based on Zoomify’s viewer; Aperio licensed the Zoomify technology and has modified it to communicate with Aperio’s ImageServer software (which incorporates libtiff).
    Thanks for your interest 🙂

  5. Like there’s something non-trivial and inventive, worthy of patenting, in cutting up a picture and only transferring the bits that the viewer needs at a particular time … HAHAHA

  6. This is just 225 individual pictures that can’t even be stitched together. It’s not a composite of pictures revealing more quality, it’s just a jumble…
    I don’t really think you could call this a terapixel image since it’s 225 of them (although they are very good quality).

  7. Terapixel! wow, thats the first time I am hearing about it. Good Stuff. wonder whats next.
    I think they used something like this in Obama’s Inauguration speech for security.

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