Monday, 29 October 2007

Never Ending Supper

So the last supper is the latest painting to be digitised at high res and made available via an online zoom/pan interface, by HAL9000. 16bn pixels in total. Doesnt bother to say what the original dimensions of the painting are, so we cant work out an equivalent dpi.

This is an interesting example of problems of currency between the way that industry talks about megapixels to describe photographic detail, whereas the library, archive, and memory institute sector are wedded to the dots per inch model: and for good reason, given that the size of artefacts various so very much, and there is no way to tell from the digital surrogate what the original dimensions are.

Still, its an interesting project. Even if they slap their logo over the image repeatedly, which as you know is one of my big bug-bears. An interesting thing to see if just how poor the condition of the original is - which is a story within itself (there is lots of information and there are lots of rants about this online).

And the language used to describe digital media still baffles me. Check out the bbc's coverage of this project. Spot the weird phrasing. In what way is a larger image "stronger" than one of a lower resolution - its not weaker or stronger, its just a different representation. And no mention of the fact that such large format works are rarely captured with one picture of a 10MP camera.
Which matters, as the bbc is a "true" source for many people out there. *sigh*.

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