Archive for March, 2011

These incredible pictures were taken by Laurent Egli inside the CMS experiment in CERN (Centre Européen de recherche Nucléaire), in Geneva Switzerland.

Panoramic photo credits by Laurent Egli (check out his website).
Click the images to open the interactive version.

The CMS (Compact Muon Selenoid) experiment, a part of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) uses a general-purpose detector to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. Although it has the same scientific goals as the ATLAS experiment, it uses different technical solutions and design of its detector magnet system to achieve these.

360 Cities (Jan): Can you share with our readers how a mortal man can manage to get an invitation to get inside?

Laurent: Taking of these image has been made possible through a meeting with Maximillien Brice. Max is the head photographer for CERN and has become a personal friend of mine. So when he called me to tell me that the LHC was being stopped for some maintenance and that we had a small window of opportunity to go down on monday the 7 th of ferbruary I couldn’t not jump on the occasion.

Laurent: 18:30 we meet in front of the information center of CERN which is on the Swiss side near the village of Meyrin. You have to know that the LHC is a huge circle tunnel that covers tens of kilometers at an average of 100 m under the surface of the canton of Geneva in Switzerland and the department of Ain in France. Along this very long tunnel filled with high end technology and supra conductor magnets there are various caverns hosting experiments related to finding the boson of Higgs. One of the is the CMS or compact mudon solenoid. After driving for 15 minutes on the French side we reach the small village of Cessy near Gex. It’s there that lays one of the shafts that is going to take us down to the CMS. Before going down we have to wait a couple of minutes for the supervisor who will be accompanying us down. This facility is under very high security. Each staff member caries a huge pass around his neck the size of a cell phone. This device is also a densitometer that records the level of radiation that the personel is submited to. Iris recognition doors complete the security system to make sure absolutely no one enters without proper surveillance.

As we are allowed access to the CMS cavern we will be very close by some other parts of the experiment of which some soldering will be Xrayed to check for defects. So they don’t want me wandering around. This little wait gave me some time to take two panoramas of the control rooms. These control rooms are not as impressive as the ones in ATLAS but I’m always amazed by the quantity of monitors staked on top of each other and basically covering the entire field of view.

It’s now time to go down. Our guide takes us through the various security devices and into a large elevator down some 100 m, it take a bit of time. At the bottom we had to walk through maze like tunnels to reach the cavern. And there it is. 6 stories high xxx meters long. The detector is a stack of gigantic donuts of technology that have been lowered down layer by layer into the cavern and stacked horizontally.

At both ends there is about 10 m of free space in front of the detector to take pictures. I was even able to use one of the elevator chariots to position my camera in mid air right next to the detector. The guide and myself had to cuddle up underneath the camera as there was no space to rotate around it.

Jan: What equipment did you use?

I used a Roundshot D3 camera fitted with a 24mm calibrated mamyiia fisheye lens to take these one time shots. Each picture took about 8 minutes to capture in a very slow scan. The resulting picture was a 180 million pixel 19’000 x 9’500 16 bit tiff file. In about two hours I was able to catch 6 incredible panoramas from above, under and on the catwalks around the CMS. And now thanks to Max Brice and the staff of CERN I’m able to share them with you. Enjoy the visit and make sure you leave some comments or questions.

This is the last part of the series (panos selected by Jeff). 

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

These images are 360-degree spherical panoramas. Click on them to view interactive versions and to view author credits.

Three bonus panoramas so the total number is 99.

The 16th session of the Human Rights Council takes place from 28 February to 25 March at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. More information is available on the webpage of the session, which is also webcasted live.

Panoramic photo by Laurent Egli.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/

We are happy to announce that today we’ve officially launched 360 Cities PLUS accounts with new exciting features. We now offer FREE, PLUS, PRO and COMPANY accounts.

Click to sign up for your 360 Cities account.

The tasty new treats include:

View your portfolio in a new way
- Switch any pano of yours to Portfolio Viewing mode and only your panoramas will be visible as arrows to nearby panoramas. Share this view with others!

Get your images reviewed faster for Google Earth
Our new priority review queue guarantees that we’ll review all your images within 7 days. PRO account panos have highest priority.

Unlist your panoramas
- Are you shy? Mark your image as unlisted and it will not show publicly on our site, not even in your profile. You can still share the URL with others.

Publish non-spherical or lower quality panoramas in your profile
- Such panos won’t be publicly visible on 360 Cities after our review, but they will be shown in your profile and you can share them.

To get a PLUS account or to review our complete list of 360 Cities plans, features and pricing after the change, take a look at our new plans & pricing page.

I asked on Quora a while ago which phone has the best camera. Sadly, I didn’t get many responses.

Since getting my Nexus S, I have finally been very happy to have a very decent camera in my pocket. It is a quantum leap above my previous, 1st generation iPhone, camera. But I have had that nagging feeling (iPhone envy?) that the camera in my phone isn’t the best one. It doesn’t exactly keep me awake at night, but I’ve been very curious to make a direct comparison.

Getting an iPhone 4 here in the Czech Republic is problematic, however. It costs about $700 WITH a two year contract. Yikes!

But finally, a friend of ours with an iPhone 4 came to visit us in the office, so I had a chance to pit it against my Nexus S.

What I have done is completely unscientific, but it’s a start. Maybe I’ll do a more rigorous test if people are interested. I did my best to shoot exactly the same image, and the same moment, with both cameras. Here are both images. Click them to view them in their original resolution. Note: I did perform a bit of cropping so that each image has the exact same pixel size – otherwise, this test would be pretty easy to cheat! Also, let me state that I did not perform any kind of color correction or sharpening of any kind, and the original images are saved in high quality (about 1.8MB each)

Camera X

 

Camera XX

 

Now, fill out the form below. Tell me which image goes with which phone, and which image you like better. I’ll post the result in a future blog post in about one week. Good luck!

Update: the poll is closed! The results are in!

Panoramic photo by Phillip Roberts.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

Normanton Church was built in 1826 to 1829 by Thomas Cundy who at the time was architect to the Grosvenor estate in Westminster.Rutland Water’s famous landmark was rescued from being submerged in the 1970′s when Rutland Water was created. The lower part of the building has had it’s foundations reinforced, with the upper part of the church now a museum.

This is the third part of the series. Panos selected by Jeff.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Stay tuned for part 6.

Planet Earth after Mankind: 96 Abandoned Places (Part 4 of 6)

This is the third part of the series. Panos selected by Jeff.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Stay tuned for parts 4 to 6.

These images are 360-degree spherical panoramas. Click on them to view interactive versions and to view author credits.

Planet Earth after Mankind: 96 Abandoned Places (Part 3 of 6)

This is the third part of the series. Panos selected by Jeff.
Part 1
Part 2

Stay tuned for parts 4 to 6.

These images are 360-degree spherical panoramas. Click on them to view interactive versions and to view author credits.

Animal Cruelty or Scraping a Living? Performing Street Monkeys in Jakarta

Panoramic photo by Martin Broomfield.
Click the images to open their interactive versions.

Martin Broomfield: Animal Cruelty or Scraping a Living? One of the more disturbing manifestations of urban poverty in Jakarta is the presence of monkeys dressed as dolls, used as props to make a living on the streets. On entering a busy intersection or are stopped at a corner, you often come across street touts selling various objects, or musicians playing guitar – all hoping to make a bit of money from commuters. Occasionally, you spot a macaques fully dressed in miniature human clothes, with a doll’s mask covering its head and face. This sad sight is even more depressing when you see the “monkey-doll”s riding tiny bicycles or pretending to be tiny showgirls putting on make-up and looking at themselves in a hand mirror – the owners hoping to attract attention of the passers-by for a few thousand Rupiah (maybe 20 cents). While most of us would scream animal cruelty, we might also ask ourselves why the poor in cities like Jakarta world-wide are forced into similar situations just to scrape a living. As Indonesia has become more affluent, the numbers of monkeys performing has reduced.