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Future of 3D Street View To Include Live Video

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the live-eye-in-the-sky dept.

Google 55

An anonymous reader writes "3D textured cityscapes are nothing new to Google Earth users: international cities such as New York have displayed this type of imagery for a while now. But now Google has made a critical change to Google Earth — adding high-resolution Street View imagery to existing city textures, effectively creating a semi photo-realistic 3D sim city you can fly through on your PC. As this article and videos show, it's only the tip of some very fancy features coming to online maps, with Microsoft demonstrating the ability to see Flickr images of your surroundings as you fly through cities (including the bizarre possibility of seeing horses and carriages on the streets), look up at the sky and see the stars through Worldwide Telescope, the ability to go inside buildings thanks to backpack cameras, and see live video streams from a friend's phone, turning the static map image into a live video."

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this creates ... (3, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855970)

the possibilities of VERY extensive maps for various games.

Re:this creates ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31855982)

For flightsims yes, maybe for a RTS. The amount of detail is way to low for anything else.

Re:this creates ... (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856066)

I wouldn't mind a Midtown Madness where you can drive around the whole world, even if the textures don't look as good.

Re:this creates ... (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856276)

Agreed, for as simple and pointless as that game was, I had so much fun free driving around that scaled-down Chicago in a user created A-Team van. I say, bring it on!

Plus, Google has all the map data to know where there are stop lights and where there aren't, the prevailing speed of traffic, and even the most likely places for a traffic jam. Imagine if your driving game had real-time traffic jams while you are street racing around the DC beltway at 5PM on a Friday.

Re:this creates ... (2, Funny)

wed128 (722152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858188)

I've driven around the DC beltway at 5pm on a friday. it's not something i'd want to simulate (or relive in any way)

Re:this creates ... (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858318)

As have I. I'd love a simulation where time, money, laws, and regard for my own life or that of others were of no importance. Take a monster truck and crush cars at the 270 split! Race on the razors edge down the shoulder as you approach the GW Parkway!

I can see it being a great stress reliever :)

Re:this creates ... (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859048)

It should be an app for the iPhone you can play while sitting in rush hour traffic. You can at least pretend that you're getting home on time.

Re:this creates ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31861248)

Why for fucking 'iphone'? Why not for 'smartphone'?

Re:this creates ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856344)

How is the detail too low?
Did you even read the SUMMARY?
Street view data combined with map data and 3D modelling data to generate high-res 3D imagery.
Yeah, you won't be seeing "grains of sandstone" high-res, but you will get something just above the Wii level of texturing.. maybe. In fact, probably higher still depending on the area.

You don't need good graphics to make a good game. (well, the COOL GRAFIX kiddies of today would disagree with that)
I'd happily play a GTA-like game in my own town, or FPS, RTS even more so. Zombie invasion in my own town? Oh hell yes.
Hell, i already tried to do the GTA thing a while ago back in the early days of Google Maps before street view existed.
I was going to write some scripts that would build up all the stuff for me and i would just walk around town taking pictures from the street.
But i never bothered due to the amount of work that would be required in modding GTA.

That does it (2, Funny)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855996)

Honey, pull down the bathroom shade!

Re:this creates ... (2, Interesting)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857036)

the possibilities of VERY extensive maps

I think you mean "intensive" not "extensive." These more in-depth maps are only being made of large cities. I hope this is not a trend, where the big cities get every toilet bowl mapped in 3D, but smaller towns are still languishing with "mere" satellite overlays.

Re:this creates ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31859032)

Oh, how quickly we go from marvelling at technological feats we never dreamed possible only ten years ago to whining because the big cities get better 3D street level mapping than Buttfsck, OH...

Re:this creates ... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858414)

But not for anything where you could collide with whatever walks around there. Since you got no collision detection, and even more importantly: No collision reaction from real world objects.

So car-racing, GTA, war games, etc, are right out the door. Not a chance.
Of course you could create a game, where you die when you touch anything, or where you are a ghost, but weirdly don’t fall trough the floor. (In other words: As lame as Big Rigs Over The Road Racing [wikipedia.org] .)

Kudos to any team who can pull off a real game with live video spheres from reality.
Oh, I nearly missed this one:
The spheres or video feed won’t move with you. So it would feel like playing Myst. Either look around a live scenery, OR move (between fixed spots at weird places, like up in the air on a post). not both.

Sorry, sounds like a pointless and impossible job to me. I’d rather go right to real augmented reality. Way cooler.

Re:this creates ... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859110)

Maybe you can't pick up the GE data and dump it right into your game, but it definitely enhances the mapping possibilities for both professional developers and mod scripters to be able to not only see a satellite image and some stitched together street view pictures, but to actually be able to move around the cityscape in a 3D representation. Suddenly something as logistically difficult as mapping out a city in your game became a whole lot easier - now, how long until we get the first "terrorist training sim" newspaper headlines?

A little extension needed (1)

hom3chuk (977560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856002)

OK, now we need a Rocket Launchers and Railguns there.

Re:A little extension needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856144)

WORD!

Simcity? (3, Funny)

syockit (1480393) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856014)

Any info on when I get to summon Godzilla or UFO yet?

Re:Simcity? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31860098)

Judging by flattened cars in Google's demo, Godzilla is already included.

Google Matrix (2, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856020)

We all know where this is going; combined with brain-machine interfacing this technology will be used to trap millions of humans in a nightmare world where everyone is forced to walk down the middle of the road, nobody can go indoors, and the population is terrorised by giant flying pliers.

Re:Google Matrix (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859134)

On the plus side, traffic jams will be a lot less hassle when all the other cars are flat 2D representations on the road.

How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856028)

The Google Earth application has always been much, much, much more enjoyable to use than the Google Maps web site. Like usual, real applications are always years ahead of "web apps".

I wish they would add their streetview images to Google Earth, and have it so that we can travel around the city fluidly. Right now, with the Google Maps web site and streetview, you have to sometimes click ten, twenty or even sometimes thirty times just to travel the length of a short city block!

They should be able to take the separate images and combine them into textures that they can overlay on a real 3D model of a city. Then we can travel around the cities in realtime, rather than looking at a static photo, clicking the mouse to move ahead a few feet, looking around at a static photo, clicking the mouse to move ahead a few feet, and so on.

Web apps will never be as flexible as real desktop apps. I wish they'd put more focus there, even if it means sticking some ads here and there.

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (4, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856182)

I'm going to take a gamble and say you didn't RTFA.

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856406)

It would be even cooler if I could get Google Maps on my phone with turn-by-turn directions, but who would do that? Google would probably have to write their own phone OS, so I guess we're out of luck. Oh well, I can dream...

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856244)

Why don't you just go ahead an do it yourself? "They" are kind of busy right now.

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856562)

Why don't you just go ahead an do it yourself?

"They" have exclusive access to the data set.

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856282)

StreetView is already in Google Earth.

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856336)

Unfortunately (or not) I think it's only a matter of time until Google Earth gets killed. I mean, with more and more resources being put on Web-browsers speed, canvas painting, accelerated graphics, etc, why they'd want to maintain just *another* binary application which needs to be, platform aware, needs installation, client updates, etc?

Re:How about adding streetview to Google Earth? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857114)

I mean, with more and more resources being put on Web-browsers speed, canvas painting, accelerated graphics, etc, why they'd want to maintain just *another* binary application which needs to be, platform aware, needs installation, client updates, etc?

Because IE 6 and 8 doesn't support "Web-browsers speed, canvas painting, accelerated graphics, etc", and Google Chrome is no different from Google Earth as "*another* binary application which needs to be, platform aware, needs installation, client updates, etc".

future of censorship to involve delayed inf. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856030)

http://www.aos.wisc.edu/fireball/2010_04_14_fireball_loop_1024x768_long.gif

as well as avoiding stuff that (really) matters, 'watering DOWn', deletions, subversions, attacks etc.... nothing new really. tell 'em robbIE

Surveillance cameras (2, Interesting)

Bronster (13157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856044)

Now all we need is to hook this in to the camera networks that already exist in a lot of cities.

Seriously, it solves the "who watches the watchers" problem and adds heaps of interest. Real time public video feeds.

Re:Surveillance cameras (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856526)

Now all we need is to hook this in to the camera networks that already exist in a lot of cities.

Seriously, it solves the "who watches the watchers" problem and adds heaps of interest. Real time public video feeds.

How does becoming a 'watcher' solve the 'who watches the watchers' problem? The real problem with ubiquitous surveillance is not that they were observing you, but what they are doing with the information they glean from that.

Re:Surveillance cameras (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857312)

It doesn't solve the "who watches the watchmen" problem, it just adds more watchers. Now instead of just being wary of the government watching your every move, you have to be wary of that nosy neighbor across the street being even more nosy.

What would solve the watchers problem would be some sort of system that would allow civilians to watch the people who are watching the civilians. Good luck ever having that happen.

Re:Surveillance cameras (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858114)

How could I go about networking my colonoscopy-cam?

Re:Surveillance cameras (1, Redundant)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858156)

Seriously, it solves the "who watches the watchers" problem

No, it just normalises the total surveillance society idea.

No one has commented on "Live Video" yet? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856072)

I haven't read the article yet, but I hope that it's not really Live Video. It would be a haven for real stalkers (not the cyber kind).

Re:No one has commented on "Live Video" yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856176)

You 21st century stalkers and your live video streams. In my day, when you wanted to stalk someone, you had to actually stalk them. You know, follow them around, figure out where they were going to be, etc. It was tough, but enjoyable, work. I can't believe you even have the nerve to call youselves stalkers.

Re:No one has commented on "Live Video" yet? (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856198)

Yup.... it's hard to collect your stalkee's trash virtually.

Re:No one has commented on "Live Video" yet? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31860168)

It is live video, but it's not a street cam or something like that. It's a bunch of guys with a camera wandering around the place, while the other guy using Bing Maps "looks around" at the same spot. The live video feed is (more or less) seamlessly stitched into the static pictures that you normally get, overlaying the part of the picture representing what the camera points at the moment.

It does look cool, especially from a geek's perspective - I knew we have algorithms powerful enough to stitch static images that way, but didn't realize that we can handle videos as way, much less in real-time. But I'm not sure what the practical application of that is.

Better summary (3, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856102)

Since neither the Slashdot summary nor the original article's prose describe what is meant by "live video", here is a better summary so you don't have to sit through 8 minutes of YouTube:

The Bing mapping application can pull in images and videos, such as from Flickr, that have geolocation and timestamps, and overlay those with photo registration over top of the regular Bing street view images. That includes webcam sources that may be live.

re: timestamps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856910)

the flash demo shows quite detailed storefronts, but with the speed of retail turnover, i'm sure many are gone by now...what's needed is some way of indicating when the images were taken...g.e. already has a timeline...

Alien gamers!!! (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856140)

Who else thinks that Google consists of alien gamers that are trying to complete a worldwide matrix simulation of earth (and every other planet they encounter). Why else would they datamine all the worlds knowledge *and* create a 3D model of the earth???
We know after all that aliens are addicted to games: http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/04/15/051213/Maybe-the-Aliens-Are-Addicted-To-Computer-Games [slashdot.org] . This only proves it!

Now excuse me I have to go out to buy some more tinfoil...

Bing already did it... (2, Informative)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856208)

Not that I'm a fan of Bing.... just sayin' they demo'd this a couple of months ago. I'll try to find a link.

Re:Bing already did it... (1)

alphakappa (687189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859580)

Microsoft loves to do demos. Apple and Google love to release products that can be used now.

Re:Bing already did it... (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859770)

No need to find a link. The demo is embedded in TFA.

In the works... (1)

Theuberelite (1786666) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856210)

Sim city? Next thing you know we'll have Google Mars and the ability to make martian families.

Re:In the works... (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856468)

They're half way there... [google.com]

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856260)

that I also thought of the video game possibilities. Imagine that as time wears, our texture and detail maps are a user based subset. Anyone with a camera phone can upload directly to google earth, eventually creating a copy of our cities, towns and such. Now imagine a virtual reality pay to play mmorpg that utilizes downloadable content via the alternate world. A world like the matrix where users can upload and download in real time. This could be epic.

Double cool (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856292)

The technology is cool all in its own right. But take a look at the video. All cars look like they're all squashed by monster trucks. That makes it twice as cool!

Swedish alternative (1)

kooky45 (785515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856616)

It's been a while since I last looked at this, but a company in Sweden [hitta.se] came up with an, arguably, better method to both Google and Bing for 3d maps.

The Future? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856936)

I work in GIS (Electronic maps) for a county government. I've seen some of the demos for this stuff, pretty interesting how they can process seperate data sources (photos & 3D shapes) into a 3D model programaticly, though I have been told it does mess up from time to time resulting in some hillarious views. But I think this tech is about to get blown away (or at least massively augmented) in the next few years. I've seen demos for what is best described as 3D rasters, Aerial images where the pixles have not only an X & Y axis but a Z axis. They are created by putting together Oblique photography (Bings "Birds Eye") and Oblique LiDAR (Topographic mapping, not only from the top but from the sides). Size is a bit of an issue but not as much as you would think, using the current compressing techniques a full county (~750 Sq/Mi) in 6" pixel resolution only takes up 13.5Gb (Thank You "Mr. SID"), adding a Z access to that info may up the size to 16-17Gb. Compair that to Pictometries Oblique imagery (Bings "Birds Eye) at about 350 Gb to 500 Gb estimated for our county. Currently they are primarialy focusing on aircraft & stationary (a Lidar/Camera on a portable tripod) capture, but I imageine the tech could easily be modified to be put onto a vehicle for street view. The issue at the moment is of course cost, but as for most tech, it is dropping. Five years ago standard aerials for our county cost about $100,000 Now you can get that & obliques for about $75,000.

And when can I get some glasses with this? (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857084)

So I can put glasses on and behold an annotated reality?

Competition breeding innovation (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31860256)

One thing I like about the present market for online mapping solutions is that it is a good example of competition actually working as it should, with two big players (Google and Microsoft) bringing in new features of their own, as well as reimplementing those that the other side thought of first. Google came up with Street View - and, recently, Bing Maps added the same (and camera control and transition animations are, IMO, better). Microsoft came up with "bird's eye" view (aerial photos at an angle, where you can see the shape of buildings etc) - now Google added a similar thing to Maps. Now we see competition in the area of "augmented reality".

I'd trade it all... (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31860676)

for the one and only feature I actually need in a map. ACCURACY.
Why is it that ALL software based maps I have found to date are 2-3 YEARS behind the paper maps sold at the gas stations?

At work I have a TomTom GPS with the latest North American map, including all corrections that are available to it, I have access to google maps, mapquest, yahoo, etc via an Internet connected laptop, and my blackberry has it's mapping application as well, and yet I still have to pull out a physical printed paper map book any time I'm in a subdivision that was created in the past 3 years (sometimes longer.)
Software maps should be EASIER to keep up to date, my current paper map is now a year and a half old, and is still more current than any online or software based map I can find (and I've tried just about all the online ones, as well as a half dozen or more handheld ones).

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