From Austria to the World

Lois Lammerhuber, Ars Electronica Linz, Austrian Airlines and Vienna International Airport present:
From Austria to the World –
a unique 180-degree gigapixel image of Paris at Vienna International Airport

press release “From Austria to the World” / PDF

(Linz / Schwechat, February 13, 2015) “From Austria to the World” – on the initiative of Austrian Airlines, the multi-award winning Austrian photographer Lois Lammerhuber, in partnership with Ars Electronica Linz, is once more setting new international standards. As of February 14, 2015, the Austrian Star Alliance Terminal Check-in 3 at Vienna International Airport is presenting a unique 180-degree photograph of Paris with an extreme resolution of 27 gigapixels. The hard- and software concept has been implemented by Ars Electronica Linz.

After New York, Paris gets the high-resolution treatment

It started with a photography competition on Austrian Airlines’ redblog. After the presentation of the first “From Austria to the World” gigapixel photo of Manhattan in 2013, the community was asked where the next destination should be. A global search for the best “gigapixel-ready” image was launched with an online photography competition. Thanks to the many entries, some of which received more than 1000 votes, the Eiffel Tower was ultimately the clear winner and Lois Lammerhuber was commissioned to convert the subject of both of the winning pictures into a gigapixel photograph. Isabella Reichl, Marketing Director of Austrian Airlines: “The picture of Paris is not only a unique technological innovation but also a successful combination of art and technology. This is a great fit for Austrian Airlines because we also have a goal of implementing innovations for our passengers and progress in technology. Even before they start their journeys, we’re taking our guests with us on a photographic journey over the rooftops of Paris and increasing their anticipation of the beautiful city on the Seine.”

15 metres wide, 9 metres high, razor-sharp

In the security area of the new airport terminal, 165 screens are joined together to form one gigantic, 15-metre wide and 9-metre high display with a screen surface of more than 530 megapixels. Ars Electronica’s international team – Peter Holzkorn, Petros Kataras, Benjamin Mayr, Harald Moser, Ben Olsen and Andreas Pramböck – developed a special hard- and software concept in order to be able to show gigapixel images on this unique photo-wall. It requires 60 servers, 480 gigabytes of RAM and 720 gigahertz of processing power.

The software cuts the high-resolution image into tiny pieces and divides them across the servers, thus enabling a lossless reproduction of the giant image in real time. It is this prototype interaction of hard- and software components that offers the passengers at Vienna International Airport unique visual impressions. The project can also, as of now, be experienced in the Deep Space of the Ars Electronica Center as a high-resolution, interactive projection.

An exclusive collaboration with Shangri-La Hotel, Paris enabled a completely new view of Paris. The photograph, which was taken from the roof of the luxury hotel, is similar to the famous postcard view of the Eiffel Tower from the Place du Trocadéro, but with the difference that a wonderful and unobstructed 180-degree view of the City on the Seine is opened up.

Thanks to the extreme resolution of 27 gigapixels – three times that of the New York image – the finest details can be made out, even of very distant objects, such as a wedding party on a boat on the Seine, the visitors to a funfair in the Jardin des Tuileries, the Paris Statue of Liberty, bubbles being blown in the Jardins du Trocadéro, and even a plane taking off at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, 30 kilometres away. If the image was printed at a ratio of 1:1 it would be a poster measuring 107 x 36 metres.

A photo shoot on the roof of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

It was decided right from the start that this was to be a picture of the French metropolis in summer.
Lois Lammerhuber and his technical advisor Martin Ackerl waited almost three months for the ideal climactic conditions. These finally arrived on 23rd July 2014 and clear, almost cloudless weather, with good visibility, was forecast for Paris. The photo shoot then took place on one afternoon on the roof of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris and around 3,400 images were taken. The post-processing and stitching of the individual pictures into the gigapixel picture took several more weeks.

Lois Lammerhuber

Lois Lammerhuber, born in 1952, is a self-taught photographer. Since 1984 he has worked in close partnership with the magazine GEO, which has had a huge influence on his conception of photography. 2,000 reportages and numerous front pages later, Lois Lammerhuber has been awarded with prizes including the Graphis Photo Award (three times) for the world’s best reportage of the year. Lammerhuber has also created radio programmes in Germany and Austria for many years. In 1996 he founded the publishing house Edition Lammerhuber. His books have received numerous awards. Lois Lammerhuber is a member of the Art Directors Club of New York.

Ars Electronica Linz

Ars Electronica has been investigating the cultural and social consequences of the ever-increasing speed of technological and scientific progress since 1979. It devotes its attention not solely to technology, social change and the reception of art and media, but always to the many-layered changes and interactions between them. “Art, technology and society” is the credo of Ars Electronica, which is a platform unique in the world in its specific focus and many years of continuity, and which sees itself equally as a cultural, educational and research institution. Ars Electronica Linz GmbH is an enterprise of the city of Linz.

Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines is Austria’s largest carrier and operates a global route network of round 130 destinations. That route network is particularly dense in Central and Eastern Europe with 39 destinations. Thanks to its favourable geographical location at the heart of Europe, the company’s hub at Vienna International Airport is the ideal gateway between East and West. Austrian Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, Europe’s largest airline group, and a member of the Star Alliance, the first global alliance of international airlines.


From Austria to the World / Lois Lammerhuber, Martin Ackerl, Edition Lammerhuber / Printversion / Album


From Austria to the World / Lois Lammerhuber, Martin Ackerl, Edition Lammerhuber / Printversion / Album


From Austria to the World / Lois Lammerhuber, Martin Ackerl, Edition Lammerhuber / Printversion / Album


From Austria to the World / Lois Lammerhuber, Martin Ackerl, Edition Lammerhuber / Printversion / Album