Google’s Creating Amazing Timelapses By Mining Millions of Public Images
Technology is filled with all kinds of rumors, real and fabricated. It gives us a look at what might be and will be. BitStream gathers the whispers all in one place to divine what the future has in store.
It seems the big tech companies are interested in the future of timelapses. Just last week, Microsoft finally let loose its Hyperlapse research project, finally making timelapses into a smooth experience instead of nauseating nightmare. And now Google and the University of Washington, in preparation for Siggraph 2015 in August, is showing what could be the future of DiY timelapses. All you need is a computer and a few million publicly available photos. Here’s how it works:
First, we cluster 86 million photos into landmarks and popular viewpoints. Then, we sort the photos bydate and warp each photo onto a common viewpoint. Finally, westabilize the appearance of the sequence to compensate for lightingeffects and minimize flicker.
Our resulting time-lapses show diversechanges in the world’s most popular sites, like glaciers shrinking,skyscrapers being constructed, and waterfalls changing course.
The researchers call the process “timelapse-mining” and may be the first use of the word “mining” in relation to technology that doesn’t immediately fill me with dread. The best part? The researchers won’t be keeping this tool to themselves and plan to release the code soon. You can read all about the inner workings of timelapse-mining right here.