×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Riding Shotgun With the Google Street View Beetle

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the more-fly-than-beetle dept.

Google 139

longacre writes "Popular Mechanics takes a ride in an Immersive Media VW Beetle, one of the six cars that drives around America shooting images for Google Maps Street View. Mounted on the roof is the $45,000 Dodeca 2360 video camera, whose 11 lenses record a 360 degree field of view at 30 frames per second, sucking up as many as 200 miles of city scenes per day. The setup takes up the whole back seat and part of the front passenger seat, and is all controlled with an off-the-shelf Logitech game controller. Includes a cool interactive raw video of a drive through Manhattan."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

139 comments

Dangerous work (0)

xPsi (851544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412191)

While the project sounds intrinsically good-spirited and the sample videos are really amazing, I can easily imagine one of these drivers getting bumped off or "vanishing" after recording something they "weren't supposed to see." Or, worse yet, someone mistakes their Beetle for a Geek Squad unit.

Re:Dangerous work (0)

$1uck (710826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412371)

Wow the world you live in must be so much more interesting than the one the rest of us live in.

Re:Dangerous work (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412721)

Uhh...I think you have a tinfoil adjustment issue there.

Although I did blanch a little when I read the part about the $45,000 camera mounted on the roof. I guess I'd want to be real careful I could see that thing when I went in for lunch...I'd hate to have my paycheck docked for the cost of one of those, just because I picked the wrong McDonalds to take a bathroom break at.

Re:Dangerous work (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412781)

Well, the cost of the Beetle is something like $20K, the camera another $45K. Outside my office right now there are plenty of $65K+ autos not being touched. And getting to the center of the roof of a car is no simple task. I think it'd probably be ok (:

Re:Dangerous work (5, Funny)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413963)

I guess I'd want to be real careful I could see that thing when I went in for lunch

Police? Yes, I'd like to report a stolen camera.

The parking lot at seven eleven.

To buy a slushie.

The roof of my car.

It cost over forty grand.

A Volkswagon Beatle.

No no, the camera.

That's right, a slushie.

No, just a slushie.

I don't think they sell that.

Yes, the roof.

Really big. And it takes round pictures.

No, really, I haven't.

No, this isn't.

Balls? Only two.

Yes they are, but that's not what I meant by round pictures.

Well, I guess it is.

I'm sure it wouldn't fit.

Same to you.

and you've never been wrong before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21413389)

Let me just count off some of the crazy NEW WORLD ORDER predictions that I've read on slashdot:

1. 1995: the UN is stationing international "peacekeepers" all across the US in preparation for Clinton announcing the end of US sovereignty. The is the original "black helicopter" conspiracy. The black helicopters were supposed to be UN, not US.

2. 2002: Haliburton is building internment camps all over the US, complete (according to a video posted on youtube) with ovens for disposing of the bodies of dissidents.

3. 2004: Bush has *already* signed the order to reinstate the draft. He's just waiting until after the election to announce it. You'd better go to the polls and vote for Kerry or your ass is going to be in the Army by January!

None of this shit was true, yet you guys *still* go around spreading fear. OMFG TEH GOVERMANT WILL MAKE EWE DISAPPEAR IF YOU HAVE A CAMERA ON UR CAR!!!11oneone

Aren't you just a tiny bit embarrassed by the things you say? The Bush presidency is almost over, and not one of my rights (or any other american citizen's rights) has been violated. There are no jack-booted thugs rounding up dissidents. People regularly criticize the government and nothing happens to them. In fact, the only really scary 1984-like stuff that's going on is being perpetrated by the political left - by democrats. They are the ones that want to silence talk radio for no other reason than that they disagree with what's being said. They are the ones that support jail time, not for what you do, but for what you're thinking

Impressive (2, Interesting)

Aetuneo (1130295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412209)

While this is impressive (especially it being controlled by an off-the-self controller), I would be much more impressed if they rigged up the interior with a lot of HDTVs so that the walls seemed to be transparent to anyone inside.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412511)

Offtopic, but your signature exemplifies everything wrong with many Linux users.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21414371)

Offtopic, but your signature exemplifies everything wrong with many Linux users.

And Anime fans.

Re:Impressive (1)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412723)

Off-the-self controllers... I think I've heard of those. They're like Wii controllers, except you don't have to hold them or touch them, right? I'm totally looking forward to having one of those.

Re:Impressive (5, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413033)

if they rigged up the interior with a lot of HDTVs so that the walls seemed to be transparent to anyone inside

Yes. If only there was some way we could make a solid, imovable, vertical surface transparent so that we could make parts of vehicles from it. We could then drive moving vehicles down the street without crashing and children could peer outside while travelling.

The techology may even become so cheap so that we could use it housing so theat we dont have to live in darkness in our homes. We good look outside through the transparent 'walls' and see the sun.

One day technology will find a way.

MOD PARENT UP FUNNY PLEASE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21414623)

Talk about "technology for technologies sake".

Get these damn things off the streets. (0, Flamebait)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412265)

These things need to be stopped.

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (1)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412315)

why? isn't that our right as US citizens?

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (3, Funny)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412529)

why? isn't that our right as US citizens?
Should be no problem so long as they don't record a policeman performing his job duties.

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412353)

I applaud your excellent argument.

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (3, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412407)

Well maybe you should stop selling yourself on the streetcorner, or stop selling blow in front of a quickie mart.

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413001)

Powder cocaine is far too upmarket to be sold in front of a convenience store, and is found more at homes and clubs. You must be thinking of crack.

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412751)

Yes, I would feel much safer if they drove on the sidewalk.

Re:Get these damn things off the streets. (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412827)

These things need to be stopped.

Why? I can't see a point of contention; yes, Google's videotaping/photographing documentary footage for inclusion on its website, in order to show that "this is what 'here' looks like," but what's the problem with that? Presumably anything occurring in the public setting has no reasonable expectation of privacy. On the (presumably) rare occasions that a Google-Cam documents something through a window that should have an expectation of privacy I seem to recall reading that they obscure or block said footage. Though I have no real knowledge as to the truth of that, nor can I find the original article, or I'd link to it.

welcome to slashdot (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412267)

where sandwiched in between kneejerk, paranoid ranting articles about encroaching invasions on your privacy, are fawning articles about google doing the SAME DAMN THING

pure blindness and hypocrisy at work on slashdot

Re:welcome to slashdot (3, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412327)

What in the wide world of sports are you talking about? Did you know that the Constitution protects the right for anybody to record anything that happens in public?

Re:welcome -- Aspen Movie Map (1)

elwinc (663074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412577)

This is basically the Aspen Movie Map [naimark.net] done bigger and better. More info Here. [rebeccaallen.com]

For those of you too lazy to follow the links, the Aspen Movie Map was a project done in 1978-81 by the MIT Architecture Machine Group (precursor to the Media Lab) to create an interactive map of the town of Aspen Colorado. Similar to Google, they mounted sideways facing cameras on a car, drove around the town collecting "street-view" imagery and loaded it all into an interactive map. They built an interactive videodisk and interface that allowed you to "drive around" the town. Video clip Here. [futureofthebook.org] I don't know if they patented any of the ideas, but I expect any patents would have expired by 2007.

Re:welcome -- Aspen Movie Map (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414625)

Nice, but that Aspen project wasn't the first time this sort of thing has been done. Municipalities, insurance companies, and real estate firms have been doing this for decades. Since at least the 60's in some places. Probably longer.

For years you've been able to look at street-level pictures of every property in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) on the internet through the Assessor's web site.

Just because Google's doing it, people pretend like this is something new.

Re:welcome to slashdot (0)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412351)

What?

Please clarify your post, as you provide no references to what the hell you're talking about.

Re:welcome to slashdot (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412385)

I must disagree with yours and everyone else's statements that this is an invasion of privacy. What Google records on the public streets is A) protected by the first amendment and B) not a privacy issue because if something is viewable from a public street, then there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

if the fbi (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412505)

were sitting on a streetcorner, photographing everyone walking by, the outcry here on slashdot would be huge

i don't really care if you think the fbi would be right doing that, i don't really care if you think the fbi would be wrong doing that

what i care about is thinking the fbi is right/ wrong to do that, and thinking elsewise of google

a massive company like that? who knows practically what everyone in the country is searching for?

i'm not being paranoid, i'm illustrating the kind of distrust that flows to the government, and the massive amount of trust that goes to google. why? i'm asking for uniformity of logic and reason on the issue. what i care about is why the fuck does slashdot go ballistic when the government does something that invades your privacy, but fawns over google when they do the SAME THING

it's cliquishness: google is our darling company. no, slashdot, google was a darling upstart search engine in 2002

it's 2007. "do no evil" is a load of crock, as google's activities in china illustrate

i just can't understand why people trust and love google so much. it's out of place

Re:if the fbi (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412603)

were sitting on a streetcorner, photographing everyone walking by, the outcry here on slashdot would be huge
Why?

don't really care if you think the fbi would be right doing that, i don't really care if you think the fbi would be wrong doing that

what i care about is thinking the fbi is right/ wrong to do that, and thinking elsewise of google
Same logic: if the FBI were doing it, it would be fine. There's no reasonable expectation of privacy of anything that can be viewed from a public street. Besides, the FBI, the ATF, and yes, your local and state police departments do this every day. It's called a stakeout. And it's been ruled legal by the courts over and over.

and i don't have a problem with that (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413215)

and i don't have a problem with google doing it either

i have a problem with the usual slashbot who would cry high holy terror if the fbi did it, and swoon if google did it

Re:if the fbi (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412651)

If the FBI were sitting on a streetcorner, photographing everyone walking by, the outcry here on slashdot would be huge

Not to nitpick, but doesn't the FBI (and several other governmental offices) as well as private companies do this already? Think about any major bank branch, post office, or office buildings and I guarantee there are PTZ cameras all over the place.

Distrust Google if you want to, or fume at the 'fanboyism' that seems to occur around them from time to time. I'm not saying that Google is completely free from any wrongdoing, just that I don't think the vast majority of people here on Slashdot think taking pictures in a public place is a HUGE privacy issue and thus a point of division in your Google vs FBI comments.

wrong (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413179)

i agree with you, that the fbi or google is ok to take pictures on a street corner

but the usual slashbot would cry high holy terror if the fbi were doing it, and swoon if google would do it

i don't care if google or the fbi take your pictures on a streetcorner. i care that the difference in reactions on slashdot is so retarded. so little trust here, so much trust there

Re:if the fbi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412695)

The difference would be that that google car comes by once, and could care less what you look like. I doubt the fbi needs to sit on the corner of the street to get a picture of your face. I assume your picture is on your passport?

Re:if the fbi (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412947)

were sitting on a streetcorner, photographing everyone walking by, the outcry here on slashdot would be huge
And that'd be because it was the government doing it. There's nothing whatsoever wrong with a private company doing it, as long as it's not in order to supply their footage to the government. Citizens, and their businesses, have the right to do lots of things the government doesn't, buddy.

amazing (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413147)

where's the wankers who cry corporatocracy, that the government is owned completely by corporations not citizens, when i need them

Re:amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21414415)

They all think you're a retard and don't want to be associated with you. Posting anonymous so Slashdot doesn't sell my data to the government mind controlling alien overlords.

Reasonable expectation of privacy! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412593)

Well, when I am standing at the bus stop waiting for a bus, I reasonably expect some 30 or 40 people currently I can see could see me. I reasonably expect a million people are not watching me and what happened there would not come back to haunt me 10 years from now.

So is the "reasonable expectation of privacy" a digital thing? All or nothing? People behave differently when three, thirty, three hundred or three million people are watching them.

Re:Reasonable expectation of privacy! (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412669)

, I reasonably expect some 30 or 40 people currently I can see could see me. I reasonably expect a million people are not watching me and what happened there would not come back to haunt me 10 years from now.
You do? How do you know CNN isn't conducting a 'hidden camera' investigation? Do you think news crews get releases from everyone that happens to appear in a camera shot that was filmed on a public street?

If 30 or 40 or 300 or 3000 people driving by that day can see you, then you have to expect that everyone can.

Re:Reasonable expectation of privacy! (3, Interesting)

enjahova (812395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412703)

you are in public, about to take public transportation. People in public places may have access to technology that can broadcast to millions of people. The current state of technology changes the definition of reasonable.
There are no laws to prevent this, in fact, in many places the laws are CAUSING this (London, Chicago). Unfortunately for you, your expectations are no longer reasonable.

Re:Reasonable expectation of privacy! (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414043)

I have a picture taken a long time ago reprinted from a newspaper. There is a parade with the town's senior dignitaries at the front and a marching band behind.

On the far side of the street a little 7 year-old boy in traditional British school uniform with shorts leans forward shyly to see better.

That little boy is my 82-year-old father.

He had no expectation of privacy as he watched that parade 75 years ago and the picture of the parade is no different than the pictures Google is taking now.

If I knew Google's cameras were going around Vancouver I'd run around after them trying to get myself in as many shots as possible so no matter where you go, there I am.

Re:welcome to slashdot (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412437)

where sandwiched in between kneejerk, paranoid ranting articles about encroaching invasions on your privacy, are fawning articles about google doing the SAME DAMN THING

pure blindness and hypocrisy at work on slashdot

Diversity of opinion? NO! That way lies madness!!

EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!

Seriously - it did occur to you that these points of view might be held by different individuals. Didn't it?

you can have any opinion you want (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413309)

but if they are logically inconsistent and hypocritical, don't be surprised if you get called out on it

Re:welcome to slashdot (2)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412443)

Thing is, when it's done by a company, ideally, they ought to be responsible for it.

* Google is using their own money for this venture, not taking it from the taxpayer.
* Google is upfront with what this is for. Government might install cameras for "safety" but once the infrastructure is in place there's all sorts of new things they can push by.
* It's not permanent. Just a car driving. It's not surveiling street corners.
* Google doesn't have the government database cross-references. The camera sees a car driving along the same road: they have no ability to figure out who's car it is and what it's doing there.

Training cameras at my street corner and watching my car drive through traffic and putting my records in a perpetual database ripe for corrupt public servants to cross-reference is completely apart from some dude recording the view outside a car window.
* Google can, potentially, be stopped by law: perhaps you should ask city hall? When it's opposition to government installing camera network, though, then it's clearly because you're a criminal/terrorist/pedophile.

Re:welcome to slashdot (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412513)

Google doesn't have the government database cross-references. The camera sees a car driving along the same road: they have no ability to figure out who's car it is and what it's doing there.


Have you tried the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button?!

Re:welcome to slashdot (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412627)

Have you tried the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button?!

Wait until Google has enough data gathered on everyone.

Then it'll become the...

"Are you feeling lucky, punk?" button.

Re:welcome to slashdot (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412709)

I have! The only thing it got me was a visit from the vice squad and sexual harassment suit.

"hi" (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413271)

"i distrust government, but i wholeheartedly trust multinational corporations, even one who traffics in information, specifically my personal information, and has publicly stated it wants to track people's every query"

you'll excuse me, but your distrust of government and trust of google is fucking hypocritical and stupid

Re:"hi" (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413323)

Google can't force me to pay tribute, can't incarcerate me, can't draft me into combat, can't take my children away, can't deny my rights in any way.

It's not hypocritical if they're, oh I don't know, two completely unrelated and dissimilar entities.

Or perhaps I shouldn't trust my mother because I can't trust the guy who mugged me?

hey moron (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413407)

small hint: if the government were to do any of those things, they'd probably get google's cooperation in recovering info on you

is your hypocrisy and misplaced trust and logical incoherence dawning on you yet?

Re:welcome to slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412783)

Has it occurred to you that different people might hold different opinions? Or do you think the average person is a hermaphrodite. Think on that one for a minute. Or, don't, if it hurts too much.

you can have any opinion you want (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413241)

but i expect them to be logically consistent and coherent

yu can't spout one opinion one monet, and then the opposite opinion the next, and not expect to be called out for it

that's what is happening with the government photographing you, or google. why is one mistrusted? why is the other trusted so much? makes no friggin sense

I'd be more impressed... (4, Insightful)

$1uck (710826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412279)

If it didn't require any user control (for the cameras at least). I mean why isn't the recording speed tied to the speed of the car? (or is it?) what need do you have to manipulate the cameras manually. Instead if the car is stuck in traffic, just stop recording. If the car is moving faster, increase the fps.

What purpose does the game controller have? Are the drivers allowed to track hotties? or is it for focusing in on billboards for corporate sponsors? Are they offering street view adwords or something?

Re:I'd be more impressed... (1)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412363)

There is already a 360 view throughout the video, therefore it would seem the joystick isn't used to control the vertical axis.

Fun times (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412309)

Theres nothing like slapping a dozen fisheye lenses to a moving vehicle and building a movie out of it. My city just got google street view enabled. I was wondering how they got exact pics of where I was on the map. Now that I see it runs at 30 frames/sec I know how they captured so much data!

Just like Data (3, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412329)

This reminds me of when Data talks about how he records everything that he sees, and what his maximum storage capacity is. I always wondered "What compression algorithms does he use for all that? At what frame rate does he record it?" I think Google will create Data before they create Skynet. After all, they've already taken the first step [google.com]

Data formats (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412659)

One wouldn't really need much of a compression algorithm to store the string "I have no emotions, because I am an android. That makes me very sad."

Raw video linked on the front page of Slashdot... (2, Informative)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412331)

Crank up the halon system, this ought to be good.

Re:Raw video linked on the front page of Slashdot. (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413919)

Too bad I didn't find that one an hour ago before my last mod point expired... I was instead trying to find something to mod insightful in the post under how flamewars and trolls get started.

Obviously, I could have spent that time better.

Police Dash-Cam 2.0 (2, Insightful)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412453)

Imagine future versions (with much lower prices) of the "Dodeca 2360" camera used as Police Dash-Cams (but on top of the car).
With the increased Law-Enforcement use of WiFi/Wireless-Data access and the necessitation of Computer capabilities in modern Police Vehicles, this device would make a nice streaming Police roof-cam.
(The quality looks good enough that "Cops" or other 'reality' police shows might just fund the costs for the cameras too.)

thank god (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412457)

Now i can do every thing on the internet.
No longer do i need to get up and go out side. I can just surf to it via google.com!

l33t!

Question about the "RAW" video (2, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412471)

Do they correct the Barrel distortion afterwards? If not, they should. Everything to the side of the car looks stretched and skewed.

Re:Question about the "RAW" video (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413615)

Everything to the side of the car looks stretched and skewed.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it's not the side that's distorted, it's the lower part of the image, just like the projection of a map. I think for it to look right they should project their "map" onto a sphere.

Well, theres only one thing that bugs me (1)

Acecoolco (1012419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412479)

Only one thing bugs me about this... the quality sucks..

Re:Quality = VERY GOOD! (2, Informative)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412785)

Eh, it's actually pretty good... check out the flash file that that viewer is displaying: http://demos.immersivemedia.com/fvdemo_1/data/CylindricalFlashPlayerDemoSite/PopularMechanicsNYCDriveAlong/video.flv [immersivemedia.com] Open that without their custom flash player and you get 1024x512 video... And I'd imagine they're recording higher than that. Also, check out some of the actual shots in google: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=32.734512,-117.159705&spn=0.024981,0.05373&z=15&om=1&layer=c&cbll=32.72197,-117.161636&cbp=2,356.38393784103107,,1,-18.177554028083662&title=Google [google.com] Maps&source=k Pan around that one and double click to zoom in on the license plates of the cars on the street. You can zoom in VERY far.. and read them.

Re:Quality = VERY GOOD! FLV Mirror too. (1)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412863)

Eh, pardon the formatting on that last one.. accidentally chose html over plain text and didn't preview :/

In any case, here's it again, this time along with a mirror for the flash file in case their site gets hammered from the original link:

Eh, it's actually pretty good... check out the flash file that that viewer is displaying:

http://demos.immersivemedia.com/fvdemo_1/data/CylindricalFlashPlayerDemoSite/PopularMechanicsNYCDriveAlong/video.flv [immersivemedia.com]

Mirror here: http://g.appleguru.org/nycpano.flv [appleguru.org]

Open that without their custom flash player and you get 1024x512 video... And I'd imagine they're recording higher than that.

Also, check out some of the actual shots in google: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=32.734512,-117.159705&spn=0.024981,0.05373&z=15&om=1&layer=c&cbll=32.72197,-117.161636&cbp=2,356.38393784103107,,1,-18.177554028083662&title=Google%20Maps&source=k [google.com]

Pan around that one and double click to zoom in on the license plates of the cars on the street. You can zoom in VERY far.. and read them.

Re:Quality = VERY GOOD! FLV Mirror too. (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413519)

sorry but the street level views hurt my eyes. it's too damn blurry, cool yea, but I can't sit there looking at it for very long. Maybe a snapshot of a destination when getting directions, but I hate exploring town this way.

Rural Areas (1)

kilo_foxtrot84 (1016017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412487)

Growing up in a rural area, I was always kinda dejected when the satellite images I'd look up were old and relatively low resolution compared to what was commonly available for more urbanized centers. Given the price tag for what Google is doing here (the article says between $125-$700), I understand why... there's less market for it, so there's less of a return on cost.
 
Still, the possibility that someday soon users will be able to submit their own images of various locations suggests that suburban and rural settings will start to be imaged in the same fashion. Does anybody want to put up some ideas regarding why this may or may not be a good thing?

One of six? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21412517)

One of six cars? Several months ago someone photographed at least a dozen, maybe two dozen, such vehicles lined up with rooftop mounts installed.

Make a DVD with angle selection (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412545)

Wow, wouldn't it be cool to use this to make a DVD with angle selection? Or, even better, take the cameras off, and put them in a circle around a room, and film all those ancient martial arts masters from every angle. Oh, to have Bruce Lee, or Chang Man Ching, or TT Liang doing the sword form (in his prime, of course; not when he was 100 years old).

great for F1 or Nascar, or superbikes?! (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412591)

I'd love to try this out with video from a formula1, nascar or superbike race - it'd be *really* amazing if it could be done live - you could actually simulate being in the driving seat live during a race!

I can predict that if the tech becomes cheap enough, it will lead to a slew of re-runs of the famous Rendezvoos video (cross-Paris maniac run in a Ferrari) or Gumball rally.

Ooo, ooo, that smell. The smel of Google... (0, Flamebait)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412625)

Some guy in lab at Google farts! Read it on the front page of Slashdot!

Social hacking with Google (1, Interesting)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412699)

I and a friend separately saw a couple of vehicles driving around the north area of a major Southwestern US city last month. This was no Google van or Google Beetle, it was just some rinky-dink car with a Google magnetic sign on the sides, and presumably a camera assembly set up on a pole about 3 foot from the car roof. It literally looked like Google ran an ad for any joker to bolt a camera to their car and drive around. My friend and I wondered what could be so exciting about the northern suburban area of a large city, rather than in the city itself, that needed to be on Google maps.

Anyway, it got me thinking that pretty much anyone really could put a Google sign or their car to presumably drive someplace they shouldn't, or use a brand like Google to lend themselves some authenticity, and nowadays people might probably not give them a second thought. Imagine if terrorists planned on attacking our imagination using Google as a cover! Or maybe someone could scam a press pass for being a member of "Google News", even though Google News isn't an actual news outlet.

Re:Social hacking with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21413447)

OMFG teh terrrrrists!!1!!1one!! Lock your doors & windows, hide your daughters, here they come!

Re:Social hacking with Google (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413649)

Anyway, it got me thinking that pretty much anyone really could put a Google sign or their car to presumably drive someplace they shouldn't
Why whould Google be able to drive anywhere where I can't?

Whole Netherlands already in 360 view + palace pic (1)

Raindeer (104129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412705)

Dutch Company Cyclomedia recently finished a full overview of the Netherlands. You can see 360 degrees of every 20 metres or so. They even have tools [cyclomedia.nl] that help you measure the sizes of things on the street and on houses. It's popular with municipalities and real estate agent. It's also featured at the major real estate site Funda.nl [funda.nl] I hope it links through, but you can see a street view [funda.nl] in front of the working palace of the Queen here [funda.nl] .

Re:Whole Netherlands already in 360 view + palace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21414195)

I wondered why I wasn't seeing anything in Firefox, until I saw this:<script id="clientEventHandlersVBS" language="VBSCRIPT">Scripted in Basic! In the 21st century!

Where Will It Be, And When? (1)

popejeremy (878903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21412889)

Is there a way to find out where and when the Googlemobile will be driving past my house so that I can be standing outside dressed as a pirate? They have a schedule, it exists somewhere. How can I find it?

Re:Where Will It Be, And When? (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414233)

Is there a way to find out where and when the Googlemobile will be driving past my house so that I can be standing outside dressed as a pirate?

Next Monday, 3-4 PM for your neighborhood.

What Colors can I get this in? (1)

AuntieWillow (1188799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413203)

Especially after the Public/Private debate, I probably shouldn't say this...
But I want one!
In Blue! No Yellow! No, sorry, Blue.

Dodeca? (2, Insightful)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413367)

If the camera is called Dodeca, why does it only have 11 lenses?

Re:Dodeca? (1)

kinko (82040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414389)

my guess is the attachment has 12 faces - 1 (the one facing downwards) is attached to the pole :)

Re:Dodeca? (2, Funny)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414747)

You, sir, have uncovered the vital clue revealing the presence of the secret 12th lens! How careless of Google to let this subtlety slip. They were arrogant to believe that no one would notice, but that vice is often the downfall of the mighty. They think themselves the only keen intellects, but now they've met their match in CompMD.

Hendeca not dodeca (1)

WhyDoYouWantToKnow (1039964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413387)

Am I the only one who thought the name of the camera a little misleading? It has 11 cameras so it should be called the Hendeca 2360. If it had 12 then the Dodeca appellation would be accurate.

Re:Hendeca not dodeca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21414451)

The 12th camera sits on the underside. Of course in the road version it's covered by the supporting pole. It's only functional in the flying version.

Meh. I prefer the distributed approach (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21413397)

Thousands of little solar powered robot blimps. When they come into cell phone range, upload instructions like "go and explore these co-ordinates" and simply download their info when they come into cell tower range.

 

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21413535)

I for one find it extremely worrying that google is trying to hamfistedly controll, record and own everything.

It needs ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21413681)

... a mounted laser then it would be super cool!

One really cool possibility (1)

tobias.sargeant (741709) | more than 6 years ago | (#21414085)

So far we've only seen 2d data, but from the look of the video, there's probably enough parallax information that you could perform 3d reconstruction of the scene. One really good aspect of this is that you could automatically remove objects such as people from the result.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...