Kudos to PghTrib.com for taking on the Gigapan camera and putting it to work for viewsers. This isn't exactly the photojournalistic use of panorama we've been concentrating on here on The Panoramist, but it has an incredible wow and cool factor.
GigaPan is a combination of hardware and software (Developed by Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, with support from Google) that allows multiple images (often hundreds) to be shot precisely and stitched together into a large-scale multiple-row panorama. This allows for remarkable resolution in a single image, reminiscent of the photos taken by early photographers of American landscapes such as William Henry Jackson. Face to face with a contact print of one of Jackson's 18"x22" glass plates, one needs only a magnifying glass to go deep into the image. GigaPan gives us the ability to present this experience to our viewsers.
One could do the same thing with PTGui and a panoramic head, painstakingly shooting several rows of multiple images with a long lens and spending more than a few hours at the computer. GigaPan appears to streamline this process, making it accessible for us regular folks.
Do note, however, (quoting from the GigaPan FAQ): "Because a panorama is assembled from multiple pictures, sometimes you'll see strange things if something moved between the pictures." As photojournalists, we have to take this into consideration when shooting any panorama that requires multiple images.