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Londoners star in world's biggest panoramic picture

Ever wanted to peer in through London’s bedroom windows and spy on the capital’s citizens while they are completely unawares? Well, yes, that’s why there’s that court injunction . . . Those who want to indulge their voyeurism legally will thrill to the news that the largest panoramic photo ever taken allows you to zoom in at some of the more intimate details of London life.

The picture, taken from the top of the BT Tower, comprises 48,640 individual frames, edited together into a 320 gigapixel image that allows viewers to focus on offices, streets and yes, bedrooms.

The company behind the project is called 360Cities. Their director Steve Hercher said it had been a tricky shoot. "So many unknowns and variables had to be addressed in the planning of this unprecedented shoot, really the first of its kind. Software and hardware were pushed to the limits, and rain, wind and other potential stumbling blocks had to be dealt with."

Yes, of course, the weather. He seems oblivious to the main interest in the picture; it’s potential for intrusiveness. The occupants of the W1T postcode haven't had their faces blurred, unlike Google Street View, allowing the possibility of some people being caught out doing things they shouldn’t, with people they shouldn’t be doing them with.

The dangers are highlighted by a story from Russia. Marina Voinova was using Yandex Maps, the Russian equivalent of Street View, which doesn’t blur faces. She recognised her fiancé arm in arm with another woman. "First, I thought 'how could someone look so similar to my Sasha?'" she said. "Then I zoomed in and saw that it was indeed him and indeed her! For the last two or three months I was thinking that I'd better not find and see that picture. But that was fate, it probably had to happen that way."

Russian recriminations ensued and another relationship died, thanks to exciting 21st century digital technology.

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