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The New York Rangers are basically Big Brother

Oct 27, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT

Thousands of hockey fans will be in attendance tonight at the partly transformed Madison Square Garden as the New York Rangers host the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game will also feature the debut of what they’re calling the FanCam, though they might as well call it the end of civil liberties as we know it.

From the Rangers website:

What is the FanCam? This high definition image will capture Madison Square Garden in its entirety, and fans will be able to “step inside” the 360 degree gigapixel image and look around during this frozen moment of time. The resolution of 20 billion pixels is so high that fans will be able to zoom in to find themselves or their friends, “tag” themselves in the photo, and share via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Fans can even cruise around Madison Square Garden to see who else was present at the game.

By tagging yourself, you will be entered to win two tickets to a Rangers 2011-2012 home game of your choice.

So not only is Big Brother taking high-resolution photos of the MSG crowd, it’s offering Rangers fans the chance to win free tickets if they’d be so kind as to enter their personal information into its gigantic secret database.

OK, so maybe it’s not as nefarious as I’m making it out to be. They actually had something like this in downtown Vancouver during the Cup finals before – let’s call it the “unpleasantness” – that followed Game 7.

Here’s the wide angle:


Those numbers you see are people that have tagged themselves.

Now you just zoom in on the image and…


There’s Dalia!

Sadly, here’s a picture of the same area that I took (as a newspaper employee, not drunken lout) on my Blackberry after Game 7.source:

  1. sharksfan754 - Oct 27, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Kate Upton is gonna be there. I’d bet anything she’ll be tagged the most

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Oct 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Maybe the Rangers should worry about winning instead. Its not 1994 anymore.

  3. gigaview360 - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Jason, there is nothing more nefarious about what the Rangers are doing with GigaPixel FanCam than what NBC Sports does with every broadcast. Random images of the crowd at random moments appear on every televised event and most published sports photos. Fans all acknowledge and accept the fact their image may appear in all of these places and have no expectation of privacy when attending a major sporting event. Most, in fact, love the random moment when the cameras point their way. What is so “Big Brother” or threatening to civil liberties about taking a group photo where everyone is willingly & happily participating? Annoucements are typically made, emails sent, and twitter feeds tweeting. The shy could always just turn away or head to the concession stands for a few minutes.

    Not sure if you’re headline had the effect you were looking for, but if you’re research were a bit more thorough, you would have found that “They” did not have the gigapixel photo taken in Vancouver. It was taken by Vancouver independent photographer Ronnie Miranda ( and acheived legimate viral status with millions of interested parties. Had you researched more thoroughly, you might have found that “They” did have gigapixel photographers on assignment at every MLB World Series Game for the last two seasons. “They” also have had GigaPixel FanCam at a number of college and NFL football games this season, as well as major rock concerts, like U2’s 360 Tour. As far as I can tell, out of the millions upon millions of fans and their friends that have been exposed to this technology, this article is the only mention of privacy concerns.

    Fans love the FanCam. It connects them together post-event in an entirely new way. They participate (by tagging THEMSELVES) in numbers unheard of in most marketing campaigns. They happily share their image with EVERYBODY they know via Facebook and Twitter. Sponsors can reliably expect incredible exposure to their message from the moment the image goes live and for weeks, months, & years after the event.

    The NY Rangers should be congratulated on becoming an early adopter of this new media (that actually is new). The benefits of gigapixel photography for all stakeholders (fans, friends, teams, sponsors) are real and tangible. It is becoming the new standard at live events where we expect to have our photo taken anyway.

    Full-disclosure: as a gigapixel photographer and new media evangelist myself, I am clearly biased on this subject. I shoot similar gigapixel images of political rallies, protests, sporting events, or concerts (in fact where ever large numbers of people gather) and edit them before publication. I keep my subject’s honor & civil liberties in the forefront of my editorial decisions, but there is no legal expectation of privacy in public spaces in this country. I doubt conventional media takes as much care.

    @GigaPixel360 on twitter

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