Authorities in Saudi Arabia have released new specially processed images of the most important Islamic and archaeological sites in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosque took 1,050 photographs of the Black Stone and the shrine of Ibrahim (Maqam Ibrahim) using Fox Stack Panorama technology, which combines images with varying degrees of clarity to produce a single accurate high-resolution picture of the Black Stone, known as Hajar Aswad in Arabic and Maqam Ibrahim.
The 49,000-megapixel images were taken over 7 hours and required a week to edit. It is the first time the authority has been able to show the Black Stone and Maqam Ibrahim in such detail.
The authority was interested in using the latest imaging techniques because of the Black Stone’s importance to Muslims, said Sultan bin Ati Al-Qurashi, undersecretary-general for the Projects and Engineering Studies Agency at the presidency.
The reddish-black, oval-shaped stone is 30 cm in diameter and is located in the southeast corner of the Kaaba.
The stone is positioned 1.5 meters above the ground and placed inside a frame made of pure silver for protection. It is the starting and finishing point of the circumambulation.
Al-Qurashi said the authority was keen to document the Black Stone and the shrine of Ibrahim to show its technical details and engineering dimensions.
The images were printed using a 3D printer.
“It is an advanced technique used for the first time in building a model that greatly simulates the shape and size of the shrine of our Prophet Ibrahim,” Al-Qurashi added.
The Projects and Engineering Studies Agency is building a virtual exhibition to display all these works in a 3D model that is considered an exact replica of the archaeological collection, and will include 123 different pieces from the 2 Holy Mosques Architecture Museum.
#GPH documenting the Black Stone by Focus Stack Panorama Technology— رئاسة شؤون الحرمين (@ReasahAlharmain) May 4, 2021
About the Technology
A focus stack is a photograph made up of a combination of images that were focused at different points and then the final image has a much greater depth of field. pic.twitter.com/uTlX6oReXt
#رئاسة_شؤون_الحرمين توثق مقام سيدنا إبراهيم -عليه السلام- بصور نادرة وحديثة بأحدث تقنيات التصوير.— رئاسة شؤون الحرمين (@ReasahAlharmain) May 5, 2021
* وهو ياقوتة من ياقوت الجنة كما قال نبينا محمد -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: (الركن والمقام ياقوتتان من ياقوت الجنة، طمس الله نورهما، ولولا أن الله طمس نورهما لأضاءتا ما بين المشرق والمغرب) pic.twitter.com/sTzz3MgEI5