In the context of the “Hi-Gal” multi-band full-plane mapping program for the Galactic Plane, as imaged by the Herschel
far-infrared satellite, we have developed a semi-automatic tool which produces high definition, high quality color maps
optimized for visual perception of extended features, like bubbles and filaments, against the high background variations.
We project the map tiles of three selected bands onto a 3-channel panorama, which spans the central 130 degrees of
galactic longitude times 2.8 degrees of galactic latitude, at the pixel scale of 3.2”, in cartesian galactic coordinates. Then
we process this image piecewise, applying a custom multi-scale local stretching algorithm, enforced by a local
multi-scale color balance. Finally, we apply an edge-preserving contrast enhancement to perform an artifact-free details
sharpening. Thanks to this tool, we have thus produced a stunning giga-pixel color image of the far-infrared Galactic
Plane that we made publicly available with the recent release of the Hi-Gal mosaics and compact source catalog.