Martin Edström receives prestigious award for interactive reportage with help for the Gigapan EPIC Pro.

Congratulations Martin! Tell us about Zaatari 360, why do you think it won you the Special Prize of Årets bild (Swedish Picture of the Year)?
Thank you! It's means a great deal to me, and I'm glad to be awarded for a new kind of immersive and interactive type of journalism. Zaatari 360 is just that - an immersive experience that brings the reader to the world's second largest refugee camp: Zaatari in Jordan.

In the 360-reportage, you can walk around the camp, zoom in on locations of interest and listen to the stories of several refugees living in the camp. With a voice-over that follows you around, ambient sounds and lots of clickable points of interest you almost feel "like you're there" yourself. Like you're standing and walking in Zaatari.

I hope this kind of journalism can help people to really learn about - and feel for - the most pressing humanitarian issues in the world. With refugees growing in number all over the world, it's an extremely pressing issue - but people have a hard time understanding the complexity of the problem. Just reading about refugees doesn't seem to bring people enough understanding, in many cases. And people have a hard time connecting to the refugees.

I hope experiences like this can bring the world closer to readers worldwide.

How did you make this piece? We understand Gigapan was involved?
Why yes. I've been using the Gigapan Epic Pro to make all of the 360 images used for Zaatari 360, which has been an invaluable tool. The Gigapan head works perfectly in the field, even though it took some rough handling in the desert sand. Couldn't have done this reportage without it.

After capturing all the images in the camp, I had a much longer journey putting the whole reportage together. I've been working since early 2013 with developing the techniques and code used for making a final 360-reportage that can be viewed perfectly on both desktop computers and mobile, and got awesome help from Kolor with software for these solutions.

All in all it was a very long process - but now I've learned enough and polished my workflow to be able to produce these pieces at a much faster pace.

What's happening now?
Now I'm devoting 100% of my time to 360-photography and making this kind of interactive reportages. With the award in Årets bild I got all the motivation I need to fully put my energy on this, and develop it further.

Who will you work for? Anything in the pipeline? 
Lots of stuff in the pipeline, but always looking for more projects! Especially interested in working with international media on this. If you guys at Gigapan hear about any openings, direct them my way! :)

You can see Martin's piece here: