We’ve seen a slew of sideways pages recently.

This past summer, for example, I posted a selection of sideways sports pages from the Des Moines Register. We’ve also looked at sideways sports pages by Fargo, N.D., and Boise, Idaho. Here’s a front page from Fond du Lac, Wis., from the old blog. And last Friday, Poynter’s Julie Moos looked at a sideways front page from Maysville, Ky.

Here’s yet another one. It’s by the Idaho Press-Tribune, a 19,909-circulation daily in Nampa.

The bad news: This is essentially a huge web refer. Not only that, but it plugs the name of the company that provided the equipment. Over and over again. Too many times for comfort, in fact.

The good news: This is indeed one hell of a big photo on the front. And granted, it just about has to be a talker today. Which, I’m sure, was the point.

Click for a much, much larger view:

The text accompanying the huge photo says, in part:

Idaho Press-Tribune Web Editor Greg Kreller captured this high-resolution photo using the GigaPan system Saturday during the second half of the Boise State football game against Air Force from the top of the Stueckle Sky Center at Bronco Stadium.

This is not your typical photograph

  •     It is composite photo using 600 images (50 columns by 12 rows)
  •     It took more than 40 minutes to capture
  •     If printed (at 200 ppi) it would be over 41 feet wide and 7 feet tall

The entire operation is aimed at getting readers to log onto the paper’s web site to check out the GigaPan-branded panoramic photo. The name “GigaPan” appears on page one no fewer than seven times. Seven!

UPDATE: Eight, if you count the credit line.

On the other hand, the breathlessly ad-like tone of the copy is balanced somewhat with a bit of transparency at the end:

Because the photo was taken in 600 pieces, you can find two Buster Broncos and a few legless and headless people when you zoom in close.

There were actually three GigaPan portraits made Saturday:

All of them zoomable. And admittedly, all of them very cool for any Boise State football fan.

Find all three of them here.

Find the online version of the page one copy here.

So is this cool content, displayed in an unusual — but appropriate, given the picture — way? Or is this a giant web refer? Or does it appear to be free publicity in exchange for loan of what is most likely very expensive equipment?

You tell me.