The Garibaldi Project: Academic Research on Microsoft Surface

Brown University is working on a project that is a perfect fit for a Microsoft Surface: digitizing the Garibaldi moving panorama. A moving panorama is basically a massive canvas painting that is scrolled in front of an audience to tell a story. The Garibaldi is more than a football field in length. Far too big for scholars to handle practically, but virtually, it handles beautifully on a Microsoft Surface.

The most obvious advantage is the ability to browse through the panorama with a swipe across the screen vs. delicately turning a five-foot wide scroll. In addition, the project has paired the Surface with a 72″ display, providing a view closer in size to the actual panorama. The digital version also offers menus to access additional information in a snap, the ability to magnify areas via object interaction, information hotspots akin to document comments, and the ability to markup the image with an IR-light pen (whereas marking up the actual panorama would result in a major freakout). Such a wonderful, worthwhile use of surface computing. Video below.

Via the Microsoft Surface Blog

The Garibaldi Project from Ian Spector on Vimeo.

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at]


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