I just found this important info about Global Connection Project.
The Gigapan is a simple robotic platform for capturing very high-resolution (gigapixel and up) panoramic images from a standard digital camera. Sponsored by Google, CMU and the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, the Global Connection Project has also developed software which places you inside the panorama and lets you explore.

For Gigapixel Panoramas check the following link: