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Caught Napping: I don't know where any of this is going, and don't try to know

It started out with photographers of only the highest skill level and most advanced technology being able to take pictures that one could barely determine who or what it was that was being photographed. It didn’t take long before more advanced, cheaper, and “easily available to the everyday consumer? cameras were brought out into the market, and people could take decent photographs without needing any experience in photography what-so-ever. Nowadays, technology is available that is so advanced and out of this world (literally) one might consider the ability that this equipment has gone too far, or is what one might classify as an invasion of privacy. What people have been unable to logically know and visually see have always been the things that they’ve wanted to know most deeply. However, with GigaPan images and technology used in programs such as Google Earth, anyone and everyone is able to see and know things that no one ever even dreamed of being possible.

Take the GigaPan image of President Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., for example. Using a GigaPan robot, there were a total of 220 snapshots taken and pieced together to create a giant perspective of freakishly high resolution. This image, created by photographer David Bergan, has created a boatload of controversy…more than anyone could have expected. The main debate lies in the fact that with such advanced technology, you are able to see anyone’s face with such detail it’s considered eerie and a clear invasion of privacy. Many people are beginning to fear and speculate that their identity may become publicly known. On a more serious note, it raises the possibility of their identity being stolen, just from this one excruciatingly detailed picture.

Of course, with the GigaPan image, it is quite simple to be able to see someone’s identity. Zooming in to a crowd of inauguration attendees, one is able to make out each and every mug shot. However, I do not think that the possibility of one’s identity being stolen is something that needs fretting over. I don’t believe that anyone would waste their time trying to pick out a face from a GigaPan image so they can merely “steal their identity.? On top of that, I’m not aware that it is even possible to steal a person’s identity just by seeing their face. In that case, it’s possible for anyone you come across walking down the street is able to take a quick snapshot and steal your identity. The point I’m trying to make, I suppose, is that the availability of your identity to be stolen is already obtainable for anyone in just as simple a manner.

Now, another controversy brought up over David Bergan’s Inauguration GigaPan image can be observed when you zoom in just to the northwest of Obama speaking at his podium. In the stands, you are able to see Clarence Thomas conspicuously nodding off. So, what you have here is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court caught red-handed supposedly falling asleep during Barack Obama’s moment of glory. Here’s the problem I have with such an accusation. Could it not be that the Associate Justice just so happened to be unobtrusively closing his eyes for the exact few seconds that the GigaPan robot was snapping a photograph of the area? GigaPan images are not a complete invasion of privacy. Instead, I believe that the quandary is in the fact that such an image can provide a complete façade of one’s actions. Such things being known could explode somebody’s reputation into something glorious, but on the other hand, it could completely and utterly ruin it, merely because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Another program, with somewhat of the same concept, is dealing with a lot of heat lately. Google Earth allows you to zoom in and view basically and major city of the world with a crisp and clear point of view as if you were standing on a city itself. This deals with the same concept, and in turn I feel the same way about it.

This type of technology is going to keep advancing and being utilized whether we like it or not. But I do believe that some of the images one might find may be blown out of proportion and misinterpreted by anyone who sees something out of the ordinary. Lastly, I do think that these pictures only keep people hidden behind their computer screens even more so than ever now. Adding upon the fact that 60 books of information is added to the internet every second, the ability of recording these things give everyone the chance to see things with such detail that has been nigh impossible for so many decades. Lots of things these days are now accessible on the internet that a person used to have to go out and explore with their own eyes, in person, and in real time. In some sense, it’s kind of a shame, but we are living in the 21st century, and technology is a mainstream part of life that everyone must be aware of and encompass.