Here is something I was puttering with yesterday to pass the time. Photo Mosaics take a large (or at least varied) collection of images and then use them as tiles to create a larger image. If you have a collection of images with enough variety (color, contrast, etc) you can create a mosaic of just about anything. Obviously, from an artistic point of view, using tiles related to the final image is a powerful statement.
My goal was more modest. I took all the photographs from the Cafe Arcane Gallery and made them into 100×100 pixel tiles using Adobe Photoshop. Although this was about 2600 items, it wasn’t that bad using an “Action” to batch process them.
The next step is a mosaic tile mapping application. For Windows I recommend Andrea and on the Mac, MacOSaiX. Warning: Photomosaics can be VERY large, particularly if you choose to limit repetition of tiles and if you add additional features, like tile zooming and rollovers (like I did). The image above is only a thumbnail of the mosaic frog I made as a test. Click on the thumbnail above to go to the full version (with zooming and tile rollovers) to see an interact with the full effect.
For those looking for Photo Mosaics with less overhead (but less control), there is Mosaickr, which uses Flickr libraries to achieve a similar effect.