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3D Aerial Photos For the Common Man

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the personal-landscapes dept.

Cloud 78

An anonymous reader writes "So you have a RC model aircraft snapping digital photos from the air, but how do you organize them all? This cheap cloud service from a European research giant will upload your photos and automatically convert them into 3D models you can navigate like a video game. And if you don't have a model aircraft, they got those on-the-cheap too. Let the overhead droning begin!"

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78 comments

If you want to do this, do it now (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212004)

This is so going to be made illegal when more people start taking high resolution pictures of their neighbors' swimming pools.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212272)

It's gonna be illegal anyway, because only a terrorist or pedophile would use the technology, probably to plan out the shortest paths to bomb government buildings or rape kids at the parks.

Even worse, the so-called "hobbyist" could use the data to make a 3-D video game about bombing government buildings or raping kids and release it under that Marxist GPL license, which would inflame tensions in the Middle East and provoke Iran into destroying Israel.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212396)

I laughed.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212480)

It'd be funnier if it weren't true. :/

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (2)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36215898)

It would be funnier if it was more scaled up - how about hobbyist satellites?

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36222368)

Don't say that... I was just looking at doing this, assuming I can put together the 8k with a little coin from the local college. :(

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212522)

which would inflame tensions in the Middle East and provoke Iran into destroying Israel.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36219290)

which would inflame tensions in the Middle East and provoke Iran into destroying Israel.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Except, the actual event will be that Israel will fight back, retaliate and destroy Iran - paving it as a future glass parking lot. Israel will then annex Iran and harvest the oil. Read your history.

On the other hand, there are very valid and good uses for this. I wish I could afford it. It would be a wonderful tool for managing our farm and forests. Arial maps are extremely useful but the government ones are such low resolution. I want more data.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36218908)

Sir, I am a respectable peeping Tom and have outfitted an RC helicopter with such a viewing device. The plane kept crashing into the window and scaring my neighbors wife and she kept covering up her gorgeous body.

Do not lump me in with terrorists and pedophiles you insensitive clod.

A good day to you.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212276)

This is so going to be made illegal when more people start taking high resolution pictures of police/DHS/ATF//border activities.

FTFY

Strat

Where's Ariel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212584)

Hint: when correcting your blog post title, sometimes it's good to recreate the slug.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36213608)

Actually, in the US it is already illegal to do this and make money off it. There are already many RC aerial photography businesses that got cease and desist letters from the FAA. You can do it as a hobby for "sport and recreation", but if it's part of a business, it's Commercial Aviation and you need a license. The FAA isn't granting licenses for this yet.

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36218324)

Although OP didn't mention making money...

I'm sure there are restrictions for selling the photos, but maybe not derivative works?

Re:If you want to do this, do it now (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36219558)

Beautiful example of too much government.

I'll got those too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212006)

Muda Fuka!

I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (1, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212022)

If you have a 3d world, and can identify the objects in the world, then software can navigate its way around the world and do tasks.
I'd reason that wiring up Natural Language when having a large database of objects(nouns) would still be rather difficult, but not as difficult as changing camera feeds into 3d world representation.
Finally you need to build a body for the robot, so it can do things in the world. By understanding Natural Language, anyone can tell a robot what to do in their native tongue. Also translation is more effective because the AI can think about sentences and know which word you mean when the word has two meanings.

Sorry, every time I see these technologies that turn camera images into 3d worlds, I can't help but think about Artificial Intelligence. I'm a pretty good programmer, but that is just one piece of software I didn't want to develop myself. I kinda put off actually making Artificial Intelligence in 2002 until someone makes a nice piece of software that you can walk around buildings and turn them into Quake levels.

And in the process of waiting for this software, I theorized the biggest use of AI might be to teach people. Eventually I realized, you don't actually need AI to teach people with computer, all you need is digitize books, make some videos and do some other tutorial software. So if I ever get enough money to buy rights to books, or enough money to live off of, I'm going to try and see this vision through. You gotta realize 200$ for a laptop is cheaper than thousands of dollars of books, and software can take the place of a teacher, so education is gonna be cheap enough that even people in poor countries will have access to it. The only limiting factor is getting the rights to books, and writing some tutorial software. It is a high cost to do this, but once it is done, the benefits for society are several orders of magnitude greater.

The real reason (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212088)

>"I kinda put off actually making Artificial Intelligence in 2002 until someone makes a nice piece of software that you can walk around buildings and turn them into Quake levels."

No you didn't. Hey, I put off flapping my arms and flying to the moon in 2002, because there wasn't a decent hotel there. Or maybe I'm talking shit. Certainly that's what I assume you are doing.

You "put it off" because neither you nor anyone else actually knows how to do it.

Re:The real reason (1, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212310)

If you want to check out my webpage on AI from 2002, you can do so here [goodnewsjim.com] . There is a lot of information there that isn't as concise as I have here. AI is easy to understand conceptually when you think of it as simply a computer program taking in input from the outside world, and interacting with it. The AI I'm talking about has little to no machine learning involved. It is all hard coded AI for robots to take commands and follow them. It really isn't as hard as everyone thinks. I think the trap people fall into is,"I don't know how the brain works, so we can't figure out AI." or "AI is one of those things you need to write a program that programs itself", but if you just approach the problem of,"How do I make a robot go pick up a ball I threw?" you can see that is something that is codable with certain other understandable technologies.

We don't know how to digitize a world and put it into a 3d world yet. But you can see this is a problem that will be solved someday.
We don't know how to program a computer with Natural Language(English). But this is a problem that will be solved someday(especially if you have a database of 3d objects available through digitizing).

Artificial Intelligence isn't really as impossible as people think it is. I'd reason that it could be done with a company/government with money in just 7 years of the technology of digitizing things to a 3rd world. But due to inefficiencies in government/for profit companies, it probably won't happen for 20. And I have no idea how far off digitizing things in a 3rd world is off from now to add onto that.

I could go straight to working on Artificial Intelligence myself, and probably research a digitizer myself(no guarantees I could write it), but Artificial Intelligence research doesn't pay the bills.

Re:The real reason (4, Insightful)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212472)

I think I can see why AI research doesn't pay your bills.

Re:The real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212608)

I checked your webpage on AI from 2002 and you don't appear to have much understanding of how either human or artificial intelligence works. You engage in so much handwaving in describing how you'd "create" AI that your wrist must be tired.

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (3, Interesting)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212136)

I'd reason that wiring up Natural Language when having a large database of objects(nouns) would still be rather difficult, but not as difficult as changing camera feeds into 3d world representation.

With two cameras with a known separation, it's not that hard a problem at all. With one camera and a depth camera (Kinect), it's not hard at all. With one regular camera and a known motion, it's not that hard. With one camera and an unknown motion, it's a bit tricky. Mostof this is covered by Structure From Motion, or occasionally Structured Lighting.

3D data from 2D data is a bit tricky, but nowhere even close to being as hard as software that can understand natural language. Even PARSING natural language is hard enough for most systems. There are far more systems that can map a 3D environment than there are that can correctly recognise and respond to a simple sentence, e.g: "Computer, will it be rainy today?"

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212372)

Easier might be the wrong word, maybe more cerebral. To do natural language interpretation, I would envision you start with a "dictionary database" full of objects. These objects would be nouns, and then you could program in properties on them known as adjectives. Without a "dictionary database" of known objects, I could not figure out how to code natural language. So you're right that natural language is more difficult than digitizing things because digitized things are a component of natural language. I just think if I have a database of digitized objects that writing a natural language on these things might be easier than the digitization in itself, but not noticeably easier.

So you start with nouns "dictionary objects", then you add adjectives by changing nouns properties. This is hugely time consuming, and the exercise is mostly done to figure out a best practice while you're doing it. But say you add all adjectives to some nouns. You then create an imagination space, and describe the nouns in action verbs Then you describe the verbs more adverbs. It is a huuuuuge undertaking, but the cool part is that you can work on subsets of the language with a small environment. Just start with a small room with a ball in it, and keep adding more nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. In the controlled environment, the Camera/Natural Language should understand everything that is there before you expose it out into the wide open real world.

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212564)

Your plan sounds very similar to the classic SHRDLU [stanford.edu] system. Published 1971.

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213226)

Interesting. I never heard of SHRDLU before, but I have heard of Cyc wikipedia said came after. From what I've heard of CYC, CYC only takes words in relation to each other, but does not have a physics space in which to have "imagination space". Because of this, CYC doesn't sound like it should ever achieve AI.

However SHRDLU does sound promising. I would think if they enhanced the physics and vocabulary on SHRDLU, it could become "imagination space" for future AI. I knew this part could be created independently of "vision recognition" part, but I've felt that it'd be better if the vision recognition was done first. After all, if you're databasing objects on their real world dimensions, they'd work better in the physics imagination space because you have the exact dimensions and contours of the object. I mean, if you're gonna sit there and database in many different objects based on their geometry, might as well have it done automatically. Of course I wasn't thinking to start small with basic objects in a solid physics engine.

Interestingly enough: I think this is an area which advances could be made now. I wouldn't exactly start with SHRDLU because it is early 1970s technology. I'd shop around for good physics engines first. I have no money to buy physics engines, so I'd personally have to go with the best free one... So maybe I'm incapable of doing this research due to lack of funding. Anyway, someone else can do it: Find a good physics engine, then start databasing "Nouns" "Adjectives" "Verbs" and "Adverbs" maybe looking at initial SHRDLU code just for advice. The thing that makes me interested now is that I realize that many objects are not exactly the same objects: Trees are trees, but even the same variety of tree has different growth stages and limb orientations. So for generalization terms, it could be good to look at things like "Spheres" "Cubes" "Pyramids" and so on.

Thank you for putting me onto this. I think it is something that could be solved now with enough time and energy. The reason I put it off was because I made the assumption that the 3d digitizer could double as an "Object databaser" for inputting objects into the database. I originally didn't want to teach the AI about a world of objects that bare no relation to exact real world objects, but it is fine to have approximate objects and approximate physics to start with.

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213192)

I confess that I have not read parent post while in full critical analysis mode, but I do not think that is needed here.

All natural languages that I am aware of are based on core objects that have no physical representation. Such as "friendship", a multitude of different kinds of "love", "dishonesty", "truth", and so on. It is nearly impossible to describe anything in any human language without referencing these purely conceptual objects. The references are often buried in tacit assumptions or postulates, but outside of very narrow technical jargons, the references are there. It is definitely impossible to persuade another human being, or even just direct his actions, without making references to these purely conceptual objects.

AI that handles natural language needs much more than an extensive vocabulary of the visual world.

Background: I have done computer programming for a living, most notably in developing perl scripts in data mining applications. But my real interest in AI is as a writer of fiction, who sees some interesting stories in the effects that AI, coupled with enough autonomy to actually be able to do something useful, will have on society.

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212394)

Wrong. The limiting factor is people want to be animals and don't want to learn. They need incentives and enforcement, not just any form of cheap education.

Re:I say it all the time, Vision to 3d world = AI (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212402)

I kinda put off actually making Artificial Intelligence in 2002 until someone makes a nice piece of software ...

Nice try, Marvin.

And it has clouds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212094)

must be good.

Google maps aerial views (2)

afranke (1400099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212130)

Would this work with aerial photographs that can be seen on google maps? That would cover a large area already.

Re:Google maps aerial views (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212140)

No

Re:Google maps aerial views (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213250)

No because it relies on two photos of the same thing, but taken at slightly different angles. In other words, it would work with a series of photos with some movement between them, but not with google maps since they are static.

Re:Google maps aerial views (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36218384)

Maybe not with the Google maps we have access to, but I'm sure Google has more than one image of the same buildings. (which I assume they are using for Google Earth 3D)

Getting started with that (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212146)

I'm in a place with no good aerial photography and have considered doing it myself and adding the streets to openstreetmap. What's a good known system to get started with this?

Re:Getting started with that (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212268)

I'm in a place with no good aerial photography and have considered doing it myself and adding the streets to openstreetmap. What's a good known system to get started with this?

You might check out TFA. They have a system to sell you (no prices).Draganfly [draganfly.com] will sell you one for about 10 grand. A quick consultation with Google gives prices from $400 up. I looked into this a while back for pretty much the same reason. A decent system that could get high enough to get over trees / hills / etc. and hold a big enough camera to get reasonable resolution would be closer to the 10K than $400. If you wanted to make a significant fraction of it yourself (like the camera mounts) you could get the price down a bit, but not a whole lot.

A good camera platform is still pretty pricey. Cheaper than a (real) helicopter for sure, but still takes some cash.

Re:Getting started with that (1)

polymeris (902231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212498)

You might check out TFA. They have a system to sell you (no prices).

CHF 10'000 [sensefly.com] ~= USD 12'000. Cool little thingy, though. [sensefly.com]

Re:Getting started with that (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36218450)

That just feels expensive. I have an electric RC helicopter that cost me less than $2k for the heli, radio and all the tools needed to get it to fly. I could easily attach a camera to it (even video) and stream 10+ minutes (battery life) of photo/video for a nominal added cost.

I'm assuming that cost is quite a bit on the software/R&D side of things.

Re:Getting started with that (1)

polymeris (902231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36225428)

I agree it feels expensive. It's less than the USD 15'500 the similar Boomerang [attopiloti...tional.com] costs, though.
I guess most of the cost is in R&D and software as you say, and most of the value in it working out-of-the box, autonomously. It's amazing how it looks in that video: Seems the guy just throws a piece of black cardboard in the air and the thing starts flying along a defined route. The waypoints can even be changed in mid-air.

If I had more free time, I would seriously consider this as a hobby. Open source software and hardware for UAVs, anyone?

Re:Getting started with that (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212930)

I imagine that an anchored weather balloon or five acting as your lift with a basket underneath would work well. Seems cheap enough, esp since you don't need to go superultralight on your hardware (just very light)

Re:Getting started with that (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212532)

RTFA: [smartertechnology.com]
"Don't have a ready UAV? EPFL has spun off another startup that makes an inexpensive drone. Called the senseFly, "

senseFly.com [sensefly.com] is selling something they call the swinglet CAM, a cheap looking Toys-R-Us RC plane [sensefly.com] that the want an astounding $10,000 for [searchthenetnow.com] (so much for "on the cheap" like the article said!).

I recommend this guy and his $100 camera. [rcplanecams.com] The results speak for themselves [rcplanecams.com]

If you really want to go cheap pick up a 808 keychain camera [youtube.com] . Takes excellent video, it's as small as a car keyless entry remote and it's less than $10

Re:Getting started with that (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212926)

that guy is no longer in business.

I've seen video from a gopro on top of some planes, lots of examples on youtube. A couple friends have rigs.

Flight sims (1)

thebra (707939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212184)

This would be great to have for flight simulators.

Typo in url (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212188)

Cloud makes 3D models from ARIEL photos?

What kind of dumb Kingdom Hearts is this?

"The common man" ?? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212230)

Several times I have seriously considered getting into doing this kind of business: aerial photos and surveys. I thought it would be both profitable and fun. And it probably is. But their "cheap" aerial reconnaissance drone costs almost $12,000.00 U.S. How much aerial surveying would it take to pay that back? A lot, I think.

Re:"The common man" ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212706)

Actually that is cheap. Most of them I've seen were 20K to 30K. If you expect that kind of automation for a 100 bucks you're out of luck. They may eventually come down from some source to around a grand but I tend to doubt it. Not everyone is going to even want to drop a grand on one so volume is out of the question. You really need to check into 3D scanners for business use. I looked into room scanners as a potential business and they make these drones look dirt cheap. They are mostly used in police work but they are really expensive for departments to buy so there is a business in contracting the work. I've also looked into film rigs for model helicopters and planes. The rigs are even more expensive than this system and there is a high risk of loosing one in a crash. The risk is what has kept me out of it. Hard to face loosing 18 or 20 grand in a single crash and the odds are extremely high of a crash. This system looks more bulletproof.

Re:"The common man" ?? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212962)

Do you have any links for some of these automated drones?

Re:"The common man" ?? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36225636)

There's a link from TFA to buy one of their own drones.

Re:"The common man" ?? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236598)

I meant the alleged 20-30k commercial alternatives.

Re:"The common man" ?? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212948)

Have you researched market opportunities? I can't imagine aerial surveys coming cheap, there must be at least several hundred dollars per deployment in there I should think

There seem to be interesting things going on in the DIY/hobbyist sector as well. I could think of a whole range of services one could offer and for which these would be perfectly adequate.

anybody got a mini AA battery?? (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212284)

with all the talk of aerial drones and such im wondering how long it will be before you can buy an mini antiaircraft battery to put in your backyard.

Re:anybody got a mini AA battery?? (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212428)

I'm hoping for one small enough that I can further postpone cleaning my garage, via better mapping of the rakes, bicycles, and recycling bin placement.

AAA? (1)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212444)

And I always thought a small sized AA battery was a AAA battery! I know: miniaturization and everything, but I think you might need more juice than that to power your spy drone.

Re:AAA? (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36212670)

Anti Anti Aircraft Gun?

Re:AAA? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213042)

There are also AAAA batteries. A common 9V alkaline battery is full of them.

For whatever that's worth.

(On the end of the spectrum, F-sized batteries are also reasonably common, and are one size bigger than D.)

Re:AAA? (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213720)

You'd need a pretty big cup to fit an F sized... oh, battery, whoops!

Re:AAA? (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36289018)

You'd need a pretty big cup to fit an F sized...

In the days before LED lamps, the Fx2 (two 'F' cells, packaged) was very popular in the UK. Let the sniggering begin.

They're still available [hitchnhike.co.uk] . Then someone thought to try making a triple pack [hitchnhike.co.uk] (inspired by Eccentrica Gallumbits) and later a pentuple [hitchnhike.co.uk] pack. (Actually, they've stopped selling those now, due to the discontinued consumer supply of NiCad cells, not because the design is "wrong" per se. They use D-cells instead. BFD.)

Re:anybody got a mini AA battery?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36212554)

No, no, "antiaircraft battery" will never do. Too much metal pumped into the air, probably violates noise ordinances in the Quiet Suburbs. How about anti-drone drone? Guided by VR, get close enough and then entangle their prop with silly string, or saw off their wing with a BB-based gatling gun. Curse you, Red Baron!!

Re:anybody got a mini AA battery?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36213208)

with all the talk of aerial drones and such im wondering how long it will be before you can buy an mini antiaircraft battery to put in your backyard.

It's called a shotgun.

Re:anybody got a mini AA battery?? (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36214158)

It's called a "shotgun".

Model quality (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213012)

It's hard to tell for sure because of the depth-of-field effect applied to the rendering (which I imagine was the reason they used that effect), but it seems like the quality of the model drops off dramatically the further you get from looking straight down. In the few unblurred street-level frames I caught of the high-resolution video, it's almost as though I'm looking at a clay model of the city which has had really high-quality texturemaps applied to it.

It's still pretty cool, but I don't think anyone is going to be using it to generate FPS maps to play in. It looks like it *might* be good enough to use as the distant background behind hand-built models of the same location, but again, that DOF blur makes it hard to tell.

They seem to have the texture part down pretty well. Maybe they could add a LIDAR system to the drone to improve the model itself?

Re:Model quality (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213402)

On their website, the sample photos from their drone are basically straight down. That would severely limit the quality of the imagery on vertical walls. I'm curious why they don't angle the camera at, say, 45*. That should allow good coverage of roofs and walls.

Satans misty *zzwhole (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213070)

So your roof-skimming RC models are taking lots of **nude photos** of local babes. Lots of hooters ... er hoots between innings for friday night baseball. So why in the name of Satans feckin-A black *zzwhole would you ever **gift** those photos to a public property cloud? I mean ... whenever the feds want those photos they **have** those photos. At your own home to takes a search warrant to bust in ... mostly ... unless you live in Illinois. More-ever you know that cloud security in an oxymoron ... might as well pass out on the street any photos you toss away to the clouds.....

Economics Will Rule... (1)

Pashminu (2001824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213592)

It will all boil down to what render quality costing factors are involved.

linux photogrammetry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36213598)

Anyone here with recent experience trying to run "stereo" or other stereogrammetry software on linux? My last attempt petered out when I couldn't get a compile, but I'm still curious, in a casual sort of way.

Re:linux photogrammetry? (1)

evilad (87480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213610)

Oops. Meant to post under my userid:

Anyone here with recent experience trying to run "stereo" or other stereogrammetry software on linux? My last attempt petered out when I couldn't get a compile, but I'm still curious, in a casual sort of way.

Uses (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213678)

This could be used for:
- games (both FPS and tactical)
- better civil engineering planning (seeing how a project will affect its surroundings)
- archaelogy (understanding old battlefields)
- current military (understanding new battlefields)
- terrorism (see "current military")
- tourism (find hotels/other with good location)

What other uses can we think of?
(I think it's pretty nifty. :)

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36215328)

3D Aerial photography is already a big, well understood field. The only novel thing here is the fact that they made a cheap version of it, that's accessible to low-budgets.

-XcepticZP

Not ready for prime time (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36213852)

The OBJ format sample model on the Pix4D site doesn't play nice with nice with Alias [iu.edu] . Having to tweak either the OBJ data or the viewer to get a firsthand view of the model tells me this service is not quite ready for prime time, and likely in need of significant funding to get to production quality.

Tech already available at hitta.se since years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36214174)

"automatically convert them into 3D models"

http://www.hitta.se/LargeMap.aspx?var=stockholm

Choose the 3D perspective.

Many uses (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36214224)

In Capitalist west smart RC fans thank you.
In Tribal Region smart freedom fighters read up on 3d thanks to you.
In the past you needed the CIA, sat images of Soviet bases, now you need a toy plane, camera, a laptop and code.

already available in US (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36214428)

If you live in the US just go to government servers and download high quality 3d terrain models in several different formats. Used them frequently in engineering. We did have to resort to flying our own photogrammetry when tolerances were tight, but that was rare.

3D model of neighbour (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36215068)

So now we can make a 3D model of our neighbour in her bathing suit? Sweet!

Re:3D model of neighbour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241756)

Then, make a 3d model of the swimsuit, subtract one from the other...

Is altitude important? (1)

fygment (444210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36216186)

How low can you go and still get a decent 3-D representation? And what kind of resolution? Could this be used for surveying difficult terrain?

Related Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36217380)

A video related about the project is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ-nCgBXZ5I

Price is steep (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36219242)

The price is nearly $10,000 US.

Re:Price is steep (1)

polymeris (902231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36225446)

It's nearly ten thousand CHF, which is about 11,500 USD. I almost never deal in either currency, so I had no idea the franc had surpassed the dollar.

Overlaping air photos (1)

koona (920057) | more than 3 years ago | (#36220670)

I have overlaping air photos of about 200 square miles of BC mountains. A simple spectrometer yields an exagerated 3D image. How could I emulate this with software?

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