Lowering first raft into Little Colorado

Gigapan: Thomas Hayden

The Grand Canyon Gigaview Project

The Grand Canyon has long been a testing ground for new technology. From the Kolb Brothers first river film in 1911, through the first (and only) up run of the Colorado with a jet-boat in 1960, to the 2005 launch of Google Earth with a digital Canyon Flythrough, a history of risk and reward.

Grand Canyon GigaView follows that ambitious tradition as a project intended to, at once, bring both the "big picture" and smallest details of this extraordinary landscape to the online user. A series of 360-degree spherical images, it is a virtual tour through America's premier natural attraction.

Grand Canyon GigaView is a not-for-profit project (funded through a Kickstarter.com campaign) intended to share the experience of a Grand Canyon river trip with the world in an immersive new way, on Google Earth, Gigapan.org and Bing Maps.

The greatest challenge in running the Grand Canyon is most certainly Lava Falls (river mile 179). In this video three of our boats run this difficult rapid, formed by the flows of lava poured time again over the rim the of the Canyon. Thomas (this issue's guest editor) and his fiancée Christy are running the third boat through.
Guest Editor

Biologist, Wilderness Expedition Leader, Ecotourism Entrepreneur, Destination Marketing Pro, Thomas Hayden's career jumped tracks when he became immersed in a new camera technology in 2005. A year later, Thomas was among a handful of photographers dispatched to visually map the world for Google StreetView. An endless road trip, it was a journey that would take him from the lip of Niagara Falls to the beaches of Southern California. He always knew that, one day, he would take the technology down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on a rafting expedition.
With an invitation to row a boat on a private permit in 2010, he had his chance.

Follow Thomas Hayden on Twitter @GigaView360
See more of his gigapixel images at:
Gigapan.com GigaView360 and Photosynth.net GigaView

Want to guest edit this magazine? Submit your proposal