Hungarian company Interspect claims to have broken a world record with a highly detailed aerial photograph, providing clarity of objects down to an impressive 0.5 cm in width. The picture, which was taken at the Military Memorial Park in Pákozd, Hungary, is clear enough that, when you zoom in close, you can easily see the watch worn by a person standing on the ground.
The ultra-high-resolution picture is, according to Interspect, not one image, but rather a geocoded orthophoto. Pictures were shot from a camera attached to a Piper Cherokee Six flying at 150 knots at about 1,500 feet AGL, said Interspect’s Gábor Bakó, who claims the system should work at speeds as fast as 430 knots above 3,000 feet — a theory he says will be tested soon.
The pictures were taken in minutes, but the image took three months to complete as a total of 272 pictures were merged into one. Through high precision GPS, each pixel of each image was assigned a geographical coordinate. Using the coordinates, the images could then be combined to produce the final product.
Six years of work led up to the record-breaking image. In 2009, the same team created a map of the Budapest zoo, with a 1.8-cm spatial resolution — twice as high as the best image at that time.