Photography has come so far in the last century. We tend to forget that Polaroid Cameras used to be cutting edge; now we can take pictures of different galaxies with stunning clarity. During the World Series, the MLB put advances in photography to (good?) use and took panoramic shots of each game, unbeknownst to the fans. Anyone can look through these pictures and tag themselves and others. These Tagoramic pictures are amazingly clear, and everyone can be seen clearly.
Here’s the link if you haven’t checked them out yet: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/ps/y2010/gigapan/index.jsp)
But the pictures also raise questions about privacy. This takes the whole Google Street View privacy issue to a new level; at least Google isn’t trying to take pictures of people directly, but in the case of the Tagoramic pictures the goal is to photograph individuals. There’s a part of me that has no problem with this. It’s a great way to document our culture. Think of all the photographs that captured watershed moments in history that would’ve benefited from this level of detail. Future generations would be able to see every inch of the event.
Then there’s another part of me that feels strange about these pictures. Do I have to act on my best behavior at every event? Well, okay, yes I suppose I should—my mom instilled that in me from an early age. For the sake of argument, though, let’s say I spill a drink on my lap. I’m standing up from my seat to dry the stain and all of a sudden—CLICK. I’m immortalized for the world to see (if they want to take the time and find me) and it looks like I’ve had a different kind of accident. This might seem like an exceptional case, but looking quickly through the Tagoramics, I saw at least 10 people picking their nose and a few dozen smooching. It’s probably not what they want for the world to see.
It might be a bit paranoid to think we’re heading towards a Orwellian dystopia, especially since MLB only took these pictures at a handful of games. Big Brother is still a distant relative to the Tagoramic pictures. However, it does make us think about how much privacy we’re actually afforded when we’re in public. Be on your best behavior, and whatever you do, don’t spill your drink.