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Low Cost Panoramic Views From 112,000 feet

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-exactly-what-i-wanted-to-do-this-weekend dept.

43

IgorC writes "Some engineering students at Texas A&M University have just received data gathered from a low cost 6 Mpixels digital camera (a Canon PowerShot S3 IS). Via NASA balloon, the camera flew up some 36 kms for 18 hours while storing more than 1600 images. The group writes: ' We are in our preliminary result discovery phase and patched up some of these frames together to produce several panoramic views from that altitude (the camera was looking down). They are viewable on the GeoCam blog. We intend on porting that information on Google Maps and Google Earth. For those of you who are undergrads and want to do something better, the folks at HASP-LSU will have a call for participants next year in their announcement page.'"

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Blog link is 404, working link here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256497)

kms = kilo*meter*second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256511)

Please stick to miles if you don't understand the metric system.

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256557)

Here in Australia, to the average joe, kms means kilometres and km/s means kilometres per second. Whether this is scientifically correct or not I do not know, nor do I really care to know.

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256591)

You must be new here.

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256619)

You mean the balloon was doing 36 km/s?

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16261261)

No.

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (0, Troll)

chawly (750383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256615)

Nitwit - kms is the recognised abbreviation for kilometers. This unit of distance is current all over the world and especially in Europe. While a kilometer means 1000 meters, it is normal to think in kilometers when considering the distance between two towns, say. When travelling between two such towns you can go at the speed you like (or the speed which is legal) and that speed is expressed in kilometers per hour (or kms/hr, if you like abbreviations). Please remove foot from mouth before posting (all twelve inches of it)!

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256649)

http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/brownridge.htm l [colostate.edu]

Guidelines for correct use (and common mistakes)

      1. Write symbols exactly as shown in the tables. Do not change the case, or add an "s" for the plural, or use abbreviations, or write a period after a symbol (unless it ends a sentence). Units named for a person have capitalized symbols. So does the liter (L), because a lowercase el (l) is easily confused with the numeral 1.* All other units have lowercase symbols, even when the surrounding text is capitalize

Correct Incorrect
kg [kilogram] Kg KG kgs. kg. KG.
km [kilometer] Km KM KM. km. Kms. kms.
mm [millimeter] MM mm. Mm

also, the the symbol for kilometres per hour is km/h , not kms/hr.

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16259631)

> also, the the symbol for kilometres per hour is km/h , not kms/hr.

and blody not KPH!!!!

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257023)

Here in Norway we also use the metric system, and "km" is always written as "km". There is no special plural form, and I think the same applies in English too.

You may write "kilometer" and "kilometers" of course...

Re:kms = kilo*meter*second (1)

matushorvath (972424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16264189)

Umm, no one in Europe would write "kms", since we know from school that the correct abbreviation is "km" even in plural. I would say that only someone from a country that does not use metric system would write "kms", since in metric country you see "km" writen everywhere, so you know better.

Great app for stitching together panoramas. (5, Informative)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256527)

Auto stitch [cs.ubc.ca]

These folks had some problems (they mentioned that a picture was taken every 23 seconds and in that time clouds moved enough to make stitching a pain) but for general shots, wow, great app. Takes bloody forever (and you will notice a system slow down, even if you drop the process priority to idle), even on a 4400+ system, but it's certainly faster than doing it by hand in photoshop.

Installer is tiny too, it's not bloated like most software apps these days...

Re:Great app for stitching together panoramas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257015)

There are dozens of other programs which perform the SIFT/RANSAC algorithms to find, match and align control points. In most of them you have much better control over the selection of control points so you can for example weed out points on moving objects. They also give you better control over the final projection. Unfortunately the SIFT algorithm is patented in the US, so technically, without paying a license fee for the algorithm, you can't use these programs outside an educational or other non-commercial environment. Algorithms are not patentable in Old Europe.

Re:Great app for stitching together panoramas. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257699)

What the hell do you mean with Old Europe. I suposse it is not contemptuous becuse maibe the old are you.

Re:Great app for stitching together panoramas. (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259209)

How does Auto stitch's tech compare to commercial programs like Stitcher? [realviz.com]

Re:Great app for stitching together panoramas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16260507)

The SIFT/RANSAC algorithms have pretty much become the standard algorithms for finding reliable feature points in images. Autostitch is mostly a demo of that combination. Stitching programs differ in details and user interface, but the core is almost universally SIFT/RANSAC because it works so well.

Yeah, and? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256529)

Amateur... um, balloonists have been doing stuff like this for many a-year. Balloon v1.0 [vpizza.org] was featured on Slashdot back in 2002. Others have added put up geiger counters and even an R/C glider plane that returned to the laucnhing site.

Re:Yeah, and? (2, Informative)

luder (923306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257215)

It's also common to use a kite [istockphoto.com] .

hehe :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256537)

"For those of you who are undergrads and want to do something better..."

I bet undergrads know "something" better they "really" wanted to do, they just don't want to talk about it here :grin:

kms ? (0, Offtopic)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256545)

What kind of student uses kms? it's km.

one who is (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256571)

retarded, or stooooooopid

Re:kms ? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256791)

The link doesn't work, either. I know this site is free, but would the few seconds it would take someone to `peer review` submissions really hurt? What's the argument against it?

Re:kms ? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257731)

Hey, we've been reading /. for 10 years with grossly misspelled article descriptions, broken links and dupes-a-plenty, don't go telling us what we should be having.

Next thing you'll start complaining about not being able to edit your posts.

Hmm... (0, Offtopic)

Tdawgless (1000974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256579)

Hmmm... :|

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256593)

Don't tell me you're trying to find the half naked girl near a farm house on the 3rd picture...

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

Tdawgless (1000974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256605)

I was looking at the two dogs humping in #1034.

Liar! (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16262147)

Hey! I looked for that girl for a half-hour before I realized you were LYING! The boss nearly fired me. I had to give him a bj to calm him down. Now I have a nasty taste in my mouth. You jerk.

And.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256585)

They did this before of after they were done with their sheeps?

Realtime images? Competition for Google Earth (3, Informative)

Yahma (1004476) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256595)

Too bad this won't give Google Earth much competition. Someday in the not so distant future, satellite imagery may become real-time via low cost weather balloons. Now imagine having access to realtime satellite imagery, how much would that be worth? Using this technology, it wouldn't be so hard to get real time (or close to real time) images from the weather balloon.


Yahma
BLASTProxy [blastproxy.com] - A anonymous Apache based proxy service to safely bypass firewall restrictions

Re:Realtime images? Competition for Google Earth (2, Interesting)

BrokenBeta (1007449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256673)

That wouldn't work, would it? If you were looking at the surface of the Earth in real-time, you wouldn't be able to see half of it because of the clouds. That's why Google Earth is such a patchwork.

Re:Realtime images? Competition for Google Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16287217)

And it's night time on the other half....

Re:Realtime images? Competition for Google Earth (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16258069)

The nsa has real-time satellite imagery with very high zoom levels today.
do'h I said to much.

Cunts? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256603)

cunts?

Hey! (1)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256607)

I can see my house from there!

low cost eh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16256665)

low cost 6 Mpixels digital camera (a Canon PowerShot S3 IS). Via NASA balloon, the camera flew up some 36 kms

Wow! A low cost solution! So... how much did that balloon cost, and how many man-hours went into that launch?

Re:low cost eh? (1)

arachnoprobe (945081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16257019)

Far less than into a satellite, I am sure of that!

Re:low cost eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257831)

Low cost is what its all about. In this time of tight budgets, a quarter million dollars to launch 8000lbs 25 miles up in less than six months, or 10 years of getting that satellite through NASA's 'kill a forest' paperwork mess...

And yes... lots of amateurs out there. But the CSBF is the professional, routinely launching from Antarctica, Sweden, Brazil, New Mexico, Texas... With a serious 'mission accomplished successfully' record.

Re:low cost eh? (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16259479)

Read the sentence again. The solution as a whole is not being modified by the "low cost" adjective. "low cost" is only modifying the "6 Mpixels digital camera" noun ("camera" is the noun with other adjectives in front of it). It seems they don't know how to abbreviate megapixel either.

They could have taken more pictures... (3, Funny)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256815)

... if they hadn't set the camera to use the flash.

enterpise Enterprise (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16256999)

Space may not be Star Trek's "final frontier," but if humanity is going to start seriously gaining a foot hold there, it will be through private enterprise, not the Enterprise.

Faked (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16257385)

Did anyone notice how much these images of "Texas" resemble the images recently captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter [arizona.edu] ? All they did was add some "clouds" and a few "roads" (obviously Photoshopped in at the last minute). This is just another example of the ongoing NASA conspiracy to convince Americans that there is intelligent life in Texas.

Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16258559)

...or does the third one from the bottom look like a phallus?
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