Finally: The Gigaphoto of the Catalan Way

  • At 17:14h the Catalan National Assembly's special website for the massive 250-mile long, 107,000 photograph strong Gigaphoto was inaugurated. In its first minutes, it is struggling under the huge load of visitors.

Josep Casulleras Nualart
01.04.2014 - 18:12

La premsa lliure no la paga el govern, la paguen els lectors

Fes-te de VilaWeb, fem-nos lliures

The Catalan National Assembly has opened the Catalan Way Gigaphoto site. You can see the 250-mile long Gigaphoto, stitched together from 107,000 individual photographs, at The site is groaning under the weight of so many visitors, but it is slowly becoming accessible.  The hundreds and hundreds of thousands of participants have been waiting for this big day for a long time, since last September 11th when they held hands from one end of Catalonia to the other in support of independence, a distance of some 250 miles. If the gigaphoto’s publication has been delayed it’s because of the huge number of photos and the huge quantity of data involved. Today we will find out the details, but the Gigaphoto coordinator, Galdric Penyarroja, gave VilaWeb some hints about the project’s difficulties.

“The ANC’s AV team was in charge of filming and photographing the September 11th demonstration in 2012 in order to share the photographs later,” explained Penyarroja. “For the Catalan Way, we studied the best way to do it and we saw that more than the number of volunteers, the challenge was to make sure they were well distributed. To avoid having crowds in zones that might have the highest media interest and that people went to those spots to take photographs, the ANC decided that there would be photo coverage of every segment. And that’s how the idea of the Gigaphoto was born.”

Eight hundred photographers and eight hundred assistants were distributed along the whole Catalan Way, usually one for each segment of the human chain, although in some segments, they needed two.

Once the photographs were taken, each volunteer photographer sent their shots to the ANC and that’s when the difficulties began: tying together the photographs and presenting it in a way that was easy to consult. “We had trouble of every kind. There were no precedents. And there was a huge technical barrier because in the end, what we were trying to do goes against what you do when you make a panorama shot,” says Penyarroja. “In a panorama, you try to piece together the parts that aren’t moving, and that’s how you make it fit properly. And we were fitting together people who were moving, who were cheering and celebrating. And in a panorama, you shoot different sections with the same camera taking photos from the same spot, and from the same perspective. In contrast, in this case the photographers moved along the chain of people and all of the photos are from a different perspective. Just that alone, technically, is very complicated. But in addition, there were all these problems that came out of managing a lot of volunteers, not to mention the number of the photos which was just staggering.”

Thanks to the agreement between El Punt Avui TV and the ANC, segments of the gigaphoto will also be broadcast over the TV station at the same time as they are published on the web. The group published this video announcing the gigaphoto:


La premsa lliure no la paga el govern. La paguem els lectors.

Fes-te de VilaWeb, fem-nos lliures.

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