Sunday, July 13, 2008

The World's Largest JPEG Image

The world's largest JPEG image is being kept on magnetic tape in a research laboratory in Palo Alto, California. 

The image measures 2,147,483,647 pixels wide by 2,147,483,647 pixels tall, and contains nothing but the color black.

Pixels are the smallest element of a graphics picture that computer monitors display, corresponding to a single dot on your screen.

The new Palo Alto image, scaled way, way down, in a nice picture frame.


If you wanted to print out the entire image on your new 600-dpi (dot per inch) laser printer, you'd need a sheet of paper over 50 miles-by-50 miles. "Though why, of course, you'd want to waste all of the toner is beyond me," Dr. Whoobint of the Palo Alto Institute for Really Useless Things commented. "You might as well use paint."

The image represents an advance in photographic technology, also, as each pixel corresponds to a real-world space about the width of a photon at the shutter aperture. In other words, Dr. Whoobint explained, "this picture contains absolutely all of the resolution that it's going to get."

The Palo Alto image is the very largest a JPEG image can legally be. "Nobody will make one any bigger."

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