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Modeling People and Places With Internet Photo Collections

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the deep-pixel-inspection dept.

Graphics 27

CowboyRobot writes "Two researchers have created a system that aggregates thousands of photos from around the Web and integrates them into single images. One application is creating maps by taking the GPS coordinates of photos taken from a collection. Another is creating 3D models of historical buildings by automatically pasting together tourists' photos taken from different angles. 'The challenge is that online data sets are largely unstructured and thus require sophisticated algorithms that can organize and extract meaning from noisy data. In our case, this involves developing automated techniques that can find patterns across millions of images.'"

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27 comments

Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40004907)

Niggers, niggers, niggers! I haaaaaaaaaaate niggers!

And kikes, too.

Cream puffs (-1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40004923)

Sometimes when people visit my house, they leave their hats by accident, and then I have to be like, "yo, you forgot your hat," and arrange with them to return the hat, and it takes days, sometimes weeks, all the while their goddamn hat is sitting around like an unwelcome guest in my cramped little apartment staring at me, mocking me with its stupid hatty eyes. Enough! People, if you visit my house and you are wearing something on your head, use some common decency and wear the same thing on your head on your way out of my house as you were wearing on your head on the way in! It's that simple, jeez! Also, Microsoft is the best. I always use their products and I am always 900% satisfied with them. They are worth every penny! All you "GNU" hippies can take a bath and use a real man's (or woman's) computer for a change!

Finally, I would just like to add that China is the best! Hahaha America capitalist losers! One, two, three, many Vietnams!

Re:Cream puffs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40005575)

There is no 'u' in 'team'. Just an FYI...

creating 3D models of historical buildings (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40004925)

>Another is creating 3D models of historical buildings by automatically pasting together tourists' photos taken from different angles.

I remember seeing a Microsoft (?) thing that did that YEARS ago. Years and years and years ago.

What happened to that?

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (5, Informative)

evandrofisico (933918) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005005)

I guess it is the photosynth [photosynth.net] project. Apparently it became one silverlight demo only.

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (1)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40006289)

Actually, the original work seems to be stemming from what is now the Bundler project. A fork (so to speak) became phototourism and photosynth. But Slashdotters probably prefer Bundler

http://phototour.cs.washington.edu/bundler/ [washington.edu]

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (4, Informative)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005137)

Noah Snavely is credited in both places, and this article cites "continuing research" into an "emerging field". The 2008 "Photo Tourism" project was turned into PhotoSynth, but the other stuff seems new.

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/phototours/ [microsoft.com]

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005569)

He's also released a good portion of the underlying algorithms (though not the actual tools) in the open-source bundler [washington.edu] library, which is quite helpful in terms of having a base to build other applications on, or to do research in this area.

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (1)

Wonda (457426) | more than 2 years ago | (#40006155)

posting to cancel moderation error.

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40006021)

>> Noah Snavely

Wasn't that the villain in the last Harry Potter movie?

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007319)

Doesn't he kill Bumblebees or something?

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40010537)

No, that would be Megatron.

Re:creating 3D models of historical buildings (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005897)

Me too. I remember one example/sample involving the Pantheon.

Next step (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40010887)

Yup and this is the logical next step.

Once you have spatially organised a bunch of photos (what was done in Microsoft's Photosynth tech demo), the next logical step is to use them to create 3D reconstructions.
The researcher (and apparently at least one of them is the same) now build 3D point clouds out of the photos.

Now someone should sell/license the technology to google.
By combining photo albums with the data they already have from street view, they could build some really nice 3D models of towns buildings, monument, and so one.
(AFAIK the current 3D objects they have are still manually done)

Re:Next step (1)

Chris6502 (857915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40018831)

Add in the higher quality geotagged images (~70m) from panoramio they could certainly build some nice models.

12 year series of papers at siggraph (4, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005415)

Highlights:
The first paper I recall was constructing a 3D model of the Berkeley campus from individual snapshots.
Google Street View uses a variant of this technology.
MicroSoft and NASA joined forces after the Columbia accident to generate a view of the Space Shuttle from hundreds of closeup pictures taken from the space station.
I saw a paper by architects constructing the entire interior of an office building from a large series of snapshots. Its considered more accurate for building engineers than the architectural drawings.

Re:12 year series of papers at siggraph (1)

joshharle (1957066) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012427)

Can you give a reference to the Architecture paper? I'm researching around this at the moment.

Photosynth (2)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005831)

It sounds similar to Microsoft's Photosynth, although they may be taking it further.

Photosynth generated point clouds in 3D and let you view each image from its original vantage point, but now seems to be concentrating on panorama stitching. This project seems to have taken a more interesting direction.

DIY (2)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40005933)

Or just take a bunch of photos yourself and upload them to Autodesk's 123d catch [123dapp.com] and get a 3d model back. It'll stitch together a scene and make a mesh (or a mess, depending on your photo quality) of it.

It's obvious what to do... (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | more than 2 years ago | (#40010739)

1. Start up a cloud VM.
2. Feed Streetview images into a 123dcatch instance on it.
3. Run some surface fractal texturing code to apply a "creative" element while cleaning up the surface dirt, pixellation, etc. and reducing file size.
5. Get the mechanical turk to describe the objects for a few cents each.
6. Auction commercial-use licenses to Garmin,
TomTom, etc.
7. Profit $$$

Gaming twist (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40006157)

Would be cool to recreate the whole real world using this technique. Build an MMO around it. Would be a cool way to crowd source out your game's mapping work.

Re:Gaming twist (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40010529)

You might be interested in PhotoCity [photocitygame.com] , then (a research project at the same university PhotoSynth came from).

Re:Gaming twist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40015769)

You might be interested in PhotoCity [photocitygame.com] , then (a research project at the same university PhotoSynth came from).

Looks fascinating! I'd like to contribute to it but it says it is "offline" and doesn't seem to have any actual maps or such. Any idea what happened to the project or if it will be coming back "Online"?

Re:Gaming twist (1)

kathbot (1286452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40023161)

I am working on starting PhotoCity up again!! In the mean time, I've been making a 3D modeling tool to turn point clouds (from PhotoCity or the Kinect or anything else) into polygonal models. Now I plan to join the pieces together!

Here's the link to the point cloud modeling tool, PointCraft: http://www.photocitygame.com/pointcraft/ [photocitygame.com]

And eventuallly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007733)

1) Consolidation of all the still pics taken at an event will be able to be aggregated into a 3D video stream. Any actual video enhances it and adds continuity. And once that becomes an acceptable report of the event, CGI images with artificial timestamps and GPS markers will be constructed to falsify parts of the event, inserting self at location, or removing person from it...whee, the imagination runs riot.

So... (1)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | more than 2 years ago | (#40009383)

The cylons are coming...

Microsoft Is Already Doing It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40010383)

My roommate was working on a system like this at our university 4 years ago. Microsoft was the financing behind the project so I'm sure they've got something a lot more advanced waiting in the wings than what I saw at the time and it was uber badass then.

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