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Microsoft, NASA Allow For 3D Shuttle View

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the we-can-see-you-up-there dept.


C|Net reports that a 3D software version of the space shuttle Endeavor is in the works, thanks to a collaboration project between Microsoft and NASA. The Photosynth viewer will allow fans of the space program an unprecedented level of detail in examining the shuttle and its surrounds at the Kennedy Space Center. ""It's much like a 3D video game--people can explore, walk around or fly around the shuttle," said Adam Sheppard, group product manager for Microsoft Live Labs, which developed the viewer. NASA said that the project could lead to more initiatives with the software giant. Chris Kemp, director of strategic business development at NASA's Ames Research Center, said that, for example, NASA could use the Photosynth technology on future space missions for activities such as inspecting the International Space Station and viewing landing sites on the moon."

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Wow (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | about 7 years ago | (#20128279)

This sounds really neat. Have to try it and explore. Have anyone here tried it already?

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

MoHaG (1002926) | about 7 years ago | (#20128469)

I remember that this kind of thing used to be done with VRML [] ...

Re:Wow (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | about 7 years ago | (#20128565)

I've tried that too for about 5 years ago or so, but I didn't like the way it worked.. I just tried Photosynth as well, and yeah - those demos are rather nice.
I hope that this project will work out well and that it will show us the inside of a space shuttle in a new way. 360-180-panoramas are rather cool (those where you can look at any direction), but you can't move around. This project sounds like a seamless variant though, so I hope that it will be a pleasant surprise to try it when a final is relesed.

Remember the XFL (2, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20129389)

Remember the fly around stuff the XFL used? They had a ton of cameras stationed around the stadium and then used software to fill in the gaps. It was one of the cool things that came out of that abomination. On playback, they would fly around the scene and you could get a better idea of what the QB or receiver sees.

Now that they are bringing the technology to the home user this could be really cool, being in control of the fly around.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128485)

Tried it and it crashed my entire system within 30 seconds. Should have known better. Those first 29 seconds were not terribly impressive.

Privatize NASA. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128281)

The United States government needs to privatize NASA, as well as the United States Postal Service. Failure to do so will cause continued deficits, causing China to own us due to our monetizing of public debt. The government has a war to pay for! Get out of these markets, you fascists!

The captcha "neural."


Re:Privatize NASA. (2, Funny)

deniable (76198) | about 7 years ago | (#20128305)

Nah, they should nationalize Microsoft. That would fix the deficit.

Nationalize Rep and Dem parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128717)

Corporate party contributions / bribery / payola would then fix the national deficit, instead of acting against the interest of the people.

Re:Privatize NASA. (1)

uomolinux (838417) | about 7 years ago | (#20129281)

No, if you want to reduce the deficit pull out of Irak, When Bush took over America was not in deficit.

Beer goggles (3, Funny)

D-Cypell (446534) | about 7 years ago | (#20128283)

I think they should include a 3D representation of what they inside of the shuttle looks like after a few drinks. Sort of a 'before and after' kind of thing.

Re:Beer goggles (2, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#20128317)

Lets just hope that armed guards don't rip the image from your screen in the middle of viewing it.

Re:Beer goggles (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 7 years ago | (#20130617)

Lets just hope that armed guards don't rip the image from your screen in the middle of viewing it.

Yeah, it's interesting that they wanna classify everything about the Saturn V, but want everybody to see the Shuttle. Almost as though they're trying to say, "Here, look at this nifty piece of engineering. Please steal it and go broke making it work."

Re:Beer goggles (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 7 years ago | (#20129191)

I want a "Here's what it will look like after it's phased out in just a few years" 3-D view, showing it in a museum. Or maybe we could get a "Here's what we have to replace it" view, showing an empty pad.

Re:Beer goggles (1)

ebvwfbw (864834) | about 7 years ago | (#20129289)

I think they should include a 3D representation of what they inside of the shuttle looks like after a few drinks. Sort of a 'before and after' kind of thing.
Just think of how that female astronaut (two bagger, one bag on her and one bag on you in case her breaks) will look in that diaper! See, before - eh? After - WOW!

Re:Beer goggles (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 7 years ago | (#20129303)

Seriously, does anyone know of a 3D model of the inside of a Shuttle? I have a graphic novel I'm working on which could benefit greatly from the ability to set up some 3D scenes to use for reference drawing the interiors.

Of course... (-1, Troll)

Ashe Tyrael (697937) | about 7 years ago | (#20128311)

Sooner or later, someone's going to try and fake a moon landing on this.

Microsoft to sponsor sequel to Capricorn One perhaps?

Spelling! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128343)

It's British English "Endeavour", not American English "Endeavor".

Because the British used to be good explorers, once.

Re:Spelling! (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 7 years ago | (#20128423)

Ain't nothin' worth explorin' any more ;)

Re:Spelling! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128481)

Listen up, crumpet. The English way of English spelling is wrong. The correct way, for anything, is the American way. Everything else is wrong. If you support the English way of spelling English, then you're a terrorist.

Go smoke a fag.

Re:Spelling! (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | about 7 years ago | (#20128495)

Yeah, why go for the English spelling of an English word when you can go for the American spelling of an English word? It's so crazy. Kind of like choosing the Spanish spelling of a Spanish word over the Mexican spelling of a Spanish word ;)

Re:Spelling! (0)

someone1234 (830754) | about 7 years ago | (#20128509)

In this case it is the name of a north american shuttle, so, a north american spelling is correct.

Re:Spelling! (4, Informative)

Remusti (1131423) | about 7 years ago | (#20128537)

From NASA's web site: []

Endeavour is named after the first ship commanded by 18th century British explorer James Cook. On its maiden voyage in 1768, Cook sailed into the South Pacific and around Tahiti to observe the passage of Venus between the Earth and the Sun. During another leg of the journey, Cook discovered New Zealand, surveyed Australia and navigated the Great Barrier Reef.

Saying he discovered New Zealand is a bit strange though, Abel Tasman did that.

Re:Spelling! (3, Informative)

someone1234 (830754) | about 7 years ago | (#20128553)

Yeah, in this case it should be Endeavour, but not because it is the 'british spelling', but because NASA said so earlier. To that effect, they could have chosen the Klingon spelling as well.

Re:Spelling! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128599)

To that effect, they could have chosen the Klingon spelling as well.
bIjatlh 'e' yImev. Hab SoSlI' Quch!

Re:Spelling! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20129087)

hey guys, you can spell it any way you want to!

but coz i know a little bit about space exploration i would go for the alternate spelling - f.l.y.i.n.g. s.h.i.t.h.o.u.s.e.

reason being - the thing is expensive, unsafe and has been a failure.

How often is the shuttle flown and how often was it supposed to carry a cargo into orbit?
How much does it cost to put a satellite into orbit using this pile of junk and how much does it cost the chinese or european space programmes?

sounds like it shares a great deal with the rest of the american space programme. utter crap

Re:Spelling! (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 7 years ago | (#20130699)

Yeah, in this case it should be Endeavour, but not because it is the 'british spelling', but because NASA said so earlier. To that effect, they could have chosen the Klingon spelling as well.

Works better if you can read Shakespeare in the original Klingonaase...

Re:Spelling! (4, Insightful)

Half a dent (952274) | about 7 years ago | (#20128633)

I thought that it was the Maoris that discovered New Zealand - oh well, my mistake.

Re:Spelling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20129619)

Yeah, and we North Americans who built it spelled the name of our North American shuttle with a "u".

(And a capital letter at the front.)

Illiterate idiot.

Re:Spelling! (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 7 years ago | (#20130663)

In this case it is the name of a north american shuttle, so, a north american spelling is correct.

Last time I looked at a map, Canada was still on North America. And they spell it 'Endeavour'...

Re:Spelling! (0, Offtopic)

Conor Turton (639827) | about 7 years ago | (#20128821)

If you support the English way of spelling English, then you're a terrorist.

Go smoke a fag.
It's interesting to note that the USA only really has American English spellings for slightly complicated words. Laziness or stupidity? Both are equally applicable.

Re:Spelling! (2, Informative)

SpringRevolt (1046) | about 7 years ago | (#20128699)

The space shuttle Endeavour is named after HMB Endeavour, the ship (bark) used by Captain James Cook on his trip to
the Pacific encountering ("discovering would have been the contemporary term, I guess) Australia, New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef (amongst others).

(Actually, there have been several Endeavours in British Naval History).

Cook's Endeavour arrived home safely and (arguably) eventually sank off of Rhode Island.

Cook himself died at the hand of uppity native Hawaiian - they paid the price eventually, of course.

Anyway, Endeavour is indeed spelled with an u.

Re:Spelling! (1)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20129541)

Cook himself died at the hand of uppity native Hawaiian - they paid the price eventually, of course.

It is reported that the Hawaiian chieftan was offended by Cook joking around with his daughter. Cook reportedly said, "Kamanaiwannalaiya." It is still unclear in most historians minds as to whether it was the insult to the daughter or the use of a really bad Hawaiian joke that caused the chief to order Cook's execution.

How long until it gets classified? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128411)

Will this suffer the same fate as the Saturn V plans? 04.shtml []

Ok so... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128449)

I was ready to come in here and say something funny like "ha, Microsoft is finally being used by NASA: Oh wait that is not new, they arent using Microsoft for Mission Critical Applications." But that is not funny, probably untrue too. Anyway, what it comes down to is that I am not interested in what NASA does unless it is getting us to the point where we can start pillaging Martian villages, and watching reality shows about the lives of astronauts in transit to mars. But i will settle for more hundred million dollar spacecrafts blowing the crap out of unsuspecting comets. While the tax-payers did not pay for this publicity stunt, I cannot find what it adds to humanity as whole, other than encourage them to sit in theirs seats and stare at a monitor, looking at things that have been done instead of doing things that could be done, for just that much longer. I have probably simplified things here a bit, but its 3:30 in the morning.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

ajs318 (655362) | about 7 years ago | (#20128515)

As I understand it (I'm a Brit so may not be quite correct) NASA, as a Federal Government entity, are under some sort of mandate that their creations must be released into the Public Domain.

Does this extend to third parties working for and on behalf of NASA?

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

nivix (716034) | about 7 years ago | (#20128631)

CENDI Copyright Task Group FAQ [] :

Unlike works of the U.S. Government, works produced by contractors under government contracts are protected under U.S. Copyright Law. (See Schnapper v. Foley, 667 F.2d 102 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 948 (1982).) The ownership of the copyright depends on the terms of the contract. Contract terms and conditions vary between civilian agencies or NASA and the military.

Re:Interesting (1)

GenKreton (884088) | about 7 years ago | (#20128829)

Literally everything NASA makes is created by contractors. They do prototype engineering and some physical prototype development in-house and then contract it out for final changes, drawings, documentation, etc. With that said, I know as a contractor, regardless of our copyright, if my company wanted to release or barter with NASA's information we are prohibited by export control laws. In some contracts the company owns the resulting intellectual property, and in some it does not but the unvarying factor seems to be the mass of drawings that are export controlled and thusly constrained.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20130743)

Hell no, contractors keep their copyright.

It's actually worse than that. The government can - and almost always does - sell commercial rights to sell products created through federal research to companies. So even though something may have been developed with federal funds, for federal use, it then gets sold to a private entity to build. Frequently this involves the government immediately turning around and paying the company they just sold a product to for rights to use it (in the case of IP) or buying it in general (in the case of physical goods - generally military related).

And it can get worse than that. Nothing prevents the government from slapping "Secret" onto anything it creates. See, if "our enemies" knew what the government was researching, they could potentially learn something about strategy.

Ultimately, everything the government creates either gets sold to contractors to profit from or locked away in secret vaults. The people don't get a damned thing from government research.

nasa (1)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | about 7 years ago | (#20128543)

Need another software application

Mixed Message (1)

Somebody Is Using My (985418) | about 7 years ago | (#20128547)

On the one hand, they are taking away our posters of the Saturn V rocket. 0/0215204 []

On the other hand, they are giving us "an unprecedented level of detail in examining the shuttle".

I'm confused.

Re:Mixed Message (1)

Crock23A (1124275) | about 7 years ago | (#20128805)

Yeah, I guess it's a lot harder to turn Endeavour into an ICBM than the Saturn V.

Re:Mixed Message (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20128999)

I think the GPs complaint is they are taking down posters of the saturn v rocket.

You cant use that to make a icbm either.

Or rather you'd have an easier time with this new thing turning shuttle into a weapon than using a poster of saturn v rocket.

Re:Mixed Message (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 7 years ago | (#20129727)

There's not really anything about the shuttle that's useful in making a missile aside from the main engines which will probably be conspicuously missing from MS's 3D program. Saturn V is just one big missile. It's comparable to making a 3D program of the Apollo command module. There's not much in there useful to missile engineers. Not that I agree with any of it though. There's nothing all that secret about rocket engines that hasn't been printed before.

Great idea! (1)

Burb (620144) | about 7 years ago | (#20128567)

Mine's a pint, chaps.

KSC.... (2, Informative)

eggoeater (704775) | about 7 years ago | (#20128655)

I also highly encourage everyone to actually GO to Kennedy Space Center. The have a lot of exhibits including a Saturn V rocket that's on it's side, indoors. It's only an hour's drive from Orlando and is a great way to spend a day. Unfortunately the tour of KSC doesn't allow you into the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Re:KSC.... (2, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20129583)

When would you have time? My Gods, I went there, expecting it to be like the Johnson Space Center, a half day diversion. WRONG. We spent the entire day, I was thoroughly geeked out, spent more at their gift shop than I did in 3 subsequent days at Disney World, and almost as much as we spent in Nassau on the cruise the previous week.

KSC has got to be one of the best National tours around. The only thing better is the Smithsonian Air and Space, and a close third to the KSC is the museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. All three are full day experiences.

Did I mention the gift shops?

Re:KSC.... (1)

eggoeater (704775) | about 7 years ago | (#20131115)

Yeah, I pretty much went nuts in the gift shop myself... got a couple of cool Apollo posters and a NASA logo'd shirt that says "I Need My Space!". []

Re:KSC.... (1)

Buran (150348) | about 7 years ago | (#20133835)

I have the license plate frame. Too bad it is sort of tacky looking and sits on my mantel instead of on my car due to that...

Re:KSC.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20143165)

I went, I saw them bring out the shuttle once. There is really not much to do other than actually look at that happening, and it's really as boring as it looks on TV.

Space shuttle game? (1)

minimum (719615) | about 7 years ago | (#20128959)

"It's much like a 3D video game--people can explore, walk around or fly around the shuttle," said Adam Sheppard
Well, why did'nt the make this as a game. Would be much cooler fly with the shuttle.
Or blow it up by flipping some wrong switch...

There was a space shuttle sim, actually (1)

Moraelin (679338) | about 7 years ago | (#20129919)

Actually, I seem to remember playing some space shuttle sim in the 90's. Can't remember the name for the life of me, though.

IIRC you had to flip buttons until you got RSI just to lift-off, and landing was a bit like trying to fly a brick. I mean, in most flight sims you come almost horizontal at the runway, while this thing... well, let's just say that it seemed like the difference between landing it and free fall seemed mostly semantics.

The experience was almost invariably along the lines of "damn, this is coming too fast... oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, looks like I'll miss the runway... yep, I was right." Guess I'm like a gaming jedi at times. I know a few moments in advance what will happen. In this case, as soon as I saw the runway, I just knew I'll plough into the ground next to it. "Next" meaning in the next state.

Re:There was a space shuttle sim, actually (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#20130501)

Actually, I seem to remember playing some space shuttle sim in the 90's. Can't remember the name for the life of me, though.
Well, Rendezvous: A Space Shuttle Flight Simulation [] (yeah, the Internet Movie Database lists games too) by Moby Games [] came out in 1982 for the Apple II and the Atari. It's possible you could have played it in the 1990s, but there may have been a better shuttle simulator than that one available by then.

Written in AppleSoft BASIC and Atari BASIC, I wonder if its code could be adjusted to give faster framerates in a cranked-up Apple II or Atari emulator.

Re:There was a space shuttle sim, actually (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#20130603)

by Moby Games
I should have read that page more carefully. Developer was Titan Computer Products and it was published by EduWare Services, Inc. It was designed and written by Wes Huntress. Wes and others started Electric Transit when EduWare Services was bought by Management Sciences America.

Moby Games just had a page about the game.

Photosynth system requirements (1)

stebbo (757730) | about 7 years ago | (#20129157)

Well, as it requires Windows to run (at this time, I'm sure they'll extend it to other platforms real soon) then I'll just have to wait...

Re:Photosynth system requirements (1)

sholsinger (1131365) | about 7 years ago | (#20130187)

I'm pretty sure that Microsoft is going to try to hold onto this one for a while. Its not really 3D either. Photosynth takes a large number of photos from a common location and attempts to assemble them in the correct 'position' it then interpolates what it thinks is 3D. That is, if you have enough photos of one area and from enough angles for it to properly do so. Otherwise, you're just looking at a bunch of pictures that are shown in a way that gives you the illusion of being there.

Re:Photosynth system requirements (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 7 years ago | (#20130219)

I think all their 3D stuff done with the Mars rovers were Java based and some Java3D. So, in comes Microsoft to purchase the hearts and minds of the management to push out that which the engineers developed originally.

yup, there's a good chunk of Java and 3D at NASA so it's time for Microsoft to push those silly ideas out: []

We've all seen this play out over and over again and after all, isn't it why we just love Microsoft? ;-/


Windows only (1)

uomolinux (838417) | about 7 years ago | (#20129209)

Another proprietary soft from M$, if I recall, NASA is a gov. agency, then why chose a proprietary software when there is universal alternative? I guess MS Loby is quite strong in Washington!

Re:Windows only (1)

puff3456 (898964) | about 7 years ago | (#20131819)

Microsoft used their technology for NASA, no taxpayer money was used. There was no government "choice" to use a proprietary software. That and oh wait, Microsoft created this, it's not like a jpeg viewer that every company produces. It might shock some people but companies sometimes come up with innovative software before its competitors are able to copy it.

Windows only-AMEN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20134697)

You know after reading all the whining and bad MS jokes? I hope they keep the technology on the Windows platform. This crowd doesn't deserve the good stuff.

Re:Windows only (1)

lgarner (694957) | about 7 years ago | (#20137969)

Please provide a link to the equivalent software.

I imagine NASA wanted an app for this, and Microsoft was able to provide it.

Re:Windows only (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 7 years ago | (#20138525)

What universal alternative? It doesn't exist. This is a case where Microsoft has created something new and unique. Please... keep breathing I know it's hard to understand. Your whole world is spinning really fast but just keeping breathing.

Read through the siggraph white papers for the year. 20% of the papers by my count have a Microsoft R&D writing credit. They are investing a lot of money into bleeding edge image analysis and this is one of the few which has been brought to 'market' at the low cost of free for now.

good people die while nasa fiddles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20129397)

so, they tell their engineers 'no', when the engineers want to have a satellite look at the shuttle to see if the tiles have been damaged by foam impacts from the launch procedure.

nasa says no. part of the reason im sure is that it was too expensive.

but, yeah, you can have a whole IMAGINARY shuttle. no telling how much this software project cost, but im wondering how much it was, compared to say, you know, listening to your goddamn fucking engineers when they say people's lives are in danger.

Linky (1)

riffzifnab (449869) | about 7 years ago | (#20129483)

Microsoft Labs Site []

Go forth and multiply (Microsoft's bandwidth bill).

ITAR will not mind at all (1)

Askmum (1038780) | about 7 years ago | (#20129491)

So, putting obsolete vague drawings of Saturn V on the wall will get you into trouble ( 30/0215204 [] ) but having a detailed view of the current launch vehicle of NASA will not?

I say again: Americans are just plain stupid.

Error! (1)

Ghaan (1103023) | about 7 years ago | (#20129587)

Unexpected error occured while executing "deploy landing-gear".

(here goes blue screen)

Press space to close application. Warning: All data may be lost. Try to land and launch again, err, restart the application.
If you are still experiencing problems, contact your administrator.

Have a nice day!

Great (0, Flamebait)

Mad Quacker (3327) | about 7 years ago | (#20129787)

Another PR stunt coming out of an engineering boondoggle that has tied up US (and human) spaceflight for 30 years. Might as well have made it look like a giant cricket. Let's make a space truck that looks like a plane and can only possibly go a few miles above the planet, like driving from here to Jersey but with a serious hazard of blowing up. Yes I want the 3D model of this on my desktop to remind me that people take pride in failure.

Real science is done on rockets. Politicians and bureaucrats should be kept arms length from science and engineering. NASA needs to forget the shuttle.

Yeah but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20129949)

does it run on linux?

No []

Microsoft and NASA (0, Troll)

rmadhuram (525803) | about 7 years ago | (#20130455)

Microsoft and NASA on the same line? I wonder if this is going to take off!!

Flight Simulator? (1)

newgalactic (840363) | about 7 years ago | (#20131283)

Is this going to be like a MS Flight Simulator NASA Edition? That would be pretty cool. It would be really neat to have the ability to perform modern and historical space missions. Docking with ISS, repairing Hubble, landing on the Moon. "I could drive on the Moon in my Lunar Rover." - obligatory Brian Regan reference

Re:Flight Simulator? (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 7 years ago | (#20131749)

That's not what they're doing, but for what you want you can try orbiter [] . It's free, and it's supposed to be extremely realistic, although I have no experience with the real thing for comparison purposes. You don't get to drive Lunar Rovers, but you get to dock with Hubble and Mir (which is still there thanks to the magic of software). You can also travel and orbit the moon, as well as other planets if you spend enough time to figure out how to plan trajectories and whatnot.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20131439)

Another NASA project that is windows only. Like World Wind, but that is going to be released in Java "real soon now".

Shouldn't there be some sort of law that says all government projects like this must be cross platform and open-source?

Microsoft R&D dominates SIGGRAPH conference (2, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | about 7 years ago | (#20131445)

In recent years MicroSoft labs (inluding UK and Beijing) have been co-authors on 20% of the papers. Thats pretty spectacular considering the conference has 90% paper rejection rate. Theyve talked about their photo-reconstruction R&D a couple times there. To me the main disappointment has been the lack of technology to mainstream MicroSoft computer products. Occasionally they've spunoff some of these results to startups.

MicroSoft has had one of the ten largest industrial research labs in the world. Some people have accused it being a tax writeoff. They are sort of like Bell Labs and Xerox PARC in not commercializing alot of results and less like IBM and GE who are more successful. Many of MSFT's publiched results are linked on their website.

spinnoff of architecture reconstuction research (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 7 years ago | (#20131563)

Automated 3D scene reconstruction software has been an active topic at the SIGGRAPH meeting (occuring in San Diego this week) for a decade. The object is to be able to move a camera(s) through a space such as a city block or building hallway, snap hundreds of pictures, then reconstruct the 3D shape and surface textures in real time. Google's "Street View" is an early application of this technology. I've seen one group promote this for insurance companies and superintendents to walk thorugh a building and inventory the architcture and contents automatically. Then they can turn this into an interative walk through along any path. Its spectacular when they zoom out and you see a multi-story office building as giant 3D twisty maze ...

Re:spinnoff of architecture reconstuction research (1)

snooo53 (663796) | about 7 years ago | (#20136583)

Do you have any good links to either software or basic descriptions of algorithms for doing 3d scene reconstruction by any chance? Feeling lazy on the google search front. I did found a few abstracts... but not sure if they are any good. Ideally I'd like to find either demo software or a video, or even a good discussion group would be nice.

SIGGRAPH papers online (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 7 years ago | (#20155899) [] maintains a link to all SIGGRAPH papers which have been posted online. ACM, if you are member, has similar.

No tax payer dollars used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20131877)

I love how the guy from NASA boasts that no tax payer dollars were used to bring this to the public. Um, let's see, it's a Windows only application. I'd say my Microsoft tax is being well spent!!

Dreams come true (1)

Spliffster (755587) | about 7 years ago | (#20132837)

this is really great. I am no big fan of microsoft, but credit where credit is due. A game that lets me explore a world which otherwise only very few people can experience in real life, that's awsome.


PS: on an afterthought this might suck as much as Flight Simulator X ... oh never mind.

Re:Dreams come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20134771)

I'd rather use streetsense to explore the world than look at the shuttle from all angles. Let's just say if I got my view of the world from this it would be a very narrow view.

Mac version, please! (and linux, ideally) (1)

Buran (150348) | about 7 years ago | (#20133881)

NASA, you're a government agency. Why are you leaving millions of citizens out in the cold?

And by the way, it's "Endeavour". The orbiter is named for Capt. Cook's ship. Cook was British.

Project May be Killed for "Security Reasons" (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 7 years ago | (#20133981)

The Photosynth viewer will allow fans of the space program an unprecedented level of detail in examining the shuttle and its surrounds at the Kennedy Space Center.

Until some low level political appointee flunky finds about it and kills the project because the nasty people might use it to plan something bad...thus reinforcing the belief among our young people that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and that a career in business is both higher paying and politically more reliable than having some forbidden knowledge about how the space shuttle works because then they might be able to build their own backyard ICBM...oh noes!

NASA should be working on cheap access to GEO... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | about 7 years ago | (#20136251)

Instead of this crap.

Inexpensive NASA Project (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 7 years ago | (#20138497)

There is a lot of whining on this site about this not being multi-platform. NASA wasting tons of money. Blah blah blah blah. All NASA had to do was provide Microsoft with several thousand photos from their archive.

That was it. Nothing more. It's not like NASA invested years of research and personal developing some project which only runs on windows... that was the Microsoft Half of the equation and shock and amaze it only runs on windows for now.

Since a vast majority of the US population is on Windows this does provide a valuable educational resource to the US Tax Paying Population at the expense of putting a few thousand photos on a portable hard drive and mailing it to Redmond.

So quit yo' belly aching!

LOOK at these 3-D Shuttle and Space images! (1)

gaetanomarano (968650) | about 7 years ago | (#20214517)

. if you want to see the only 3-D Space Shuttle image (and three more about Space) available on the web (to see with red-blue glasses) go here: html [] .
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