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Future of 3D Street View To Include Live Video 55

An anonymous reader writes "3D textured cityscapes are nothing new to Google Earth users: international cities such as New York have displayed this type of imagery for a while now. But now Google has made a critical change to Google Earth — adding high-resolution Street View imagery to existing city textures, effectively creating a semi photo-realistic 3D sim city you can fly through on your PC. As this article and videos show, it's only the tip of some very fancy features coming to online maps, with Microsoft demonstrating the ability to see Flickr images of your surroundings as you fly through cities (including the bizarre possibility of seeing horses and carriages on the streets), look up at the sky and see the stars through Worldwide Telescope, the ability to go inside buildings thanks to backpack cameras, and see live video streams from a friend's phone, turning the static map image into a live video."
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Future of 3D Street View To Include Live Video

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  • this creates ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by polar red ( 215081 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:00AM (#31855970)

    the possibilities of VERY extensive maps for various games.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For flightsims yes, maybe for a RTS. The amount of detail is way to low for anything else.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How is the detail too low?
        Did you even read the SUMMARY?
        Street view data combined with map data and 3D modelling data to generate high-res 3D imagery.
        Yeah, you won't be seeing "grains of sandstone" high-res, but you will get something just above the Wii level of texturing.. maybe. In fact, probably higher still depending on the area.

        You don't need good graphics to make a good game. (well, the COOL GRAFIX kiddies of today would disagree with that)
        I'd happily play a GTA-like game in my own town, or FPS, RTS

    • by MoeDumb ( 1108389 )
      Honey, pull down the bathroom shade!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wealthychef ( 584778 )

      the possibilities of VERY extensive maps

      I think you mean "intensive" not "extensive." These more in-depth maps are only being made of large cities. I hope this is not a trend, where the big cities get every toilet bowl mapped in 3D, but smaller towns are still languishing with "mere" satellite overlays.

    • But not for anything where you could collide with whatever walks around there. Since you got no collision detection, and even more importantly: No collision reaction from real world objects.

      So car-racing, GTA, war games, etc, are right out the door. Not a chance.
      Of course you could create a game, where you die when you touch anything, or where you are a ghost, but weirdly don’t fall trough the floor. (In other words: As lame as Big Rigs Over The Road Racing [].)

      Kudos to any team who can pull off a real g

      • Maybe you can't pick up the GE data and dump it right into your game, but it definitely enhances the mapping possibilities for both professional developers and mod scripters to be able to not only see a satellite image and some stitched together street view pictures, but to actually be able to move around the cityscape in a 3D representation. Suddenly something as logistically difficult as mapping out a city in your game became a whole lot easier - now, how long until we get the first "terrorist training si
  • OK, now we need a Rocket Launchers and Railguns there.
  • Simcity? (Score:3, Funny)

    by syockit ( 1480393 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:06AM (#31856014)
    Any info on when I get to summon Godzilla or UFO yet?
  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:08AM (#31856020)
    We all know where this is going; combined with brain-machine interfacing this technology will be used to trap millions of humans in a nightmare world where everyone is forced to walk down the middle of the road, nobody can go indoors, and the population is terrorised by giant flying pliers.
    • On the plus side, traffic jams will be a lot less hassle when all the other cars are flat 2D representations on the road.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Google Earth application has always been much, much, much more enjoyable to use than the Google Maps web site. Like usual, real applications are always years ahead of "web apps".

    I wish they would add their streetview images to Google Earth, and have it so that we can travel around the city fluidly. Right now, with the Google Maps web site and streetview, you have to sometimes click ten, twenty or even sometimes thirty times just to travel the length of a short city block!

    They should be able to take the

    • by Allicorn ( 175921 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:31AM (#31856182) Homepage

      I'm going to take a gamble and say you didn't RTFA.

      • It would be even cooler if I could get Google Maps on my phone with turn-by-turn directions, but who would do that? Google would probably have to write their own phone OS, so I guess we're out of luck. Oh well, I can dream...

    • by El Lobo ( 994537 )
      Unfortunately (or not) I think it's only a matter of time until Google Earth gets killed. I mean, with more and more resources being put on Web-browsers speed, canvas painting, accelerated graphics, etc, why they'd want to maintain just *another* binary application which needs to be, platform aware, needs installation, client updates, etc?
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I mean, with more and more resources being put on Web-browsers speed, canvas painting, accelerated graphics, etc, why they'd want to maintain just *another* binary application which needs to be, platform aware, needs installation, client updates, etc?

        Because IE 6 and 8 doesn't support "Web-browsers speed, canvas painting, accelerated graphics, etc", and Google Chrome is no different from Google Earth as "*another* binary application which needs to be, platform aware, needs installation, client updates, etc".

  • Surveillance cameras (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bronster ( 13157 ) <> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:12AM (#31856044) Homepage

    Now all we need is to hook this in to the camera networks that already exist in a lot of cities.

    Seriously, it solves the "who watches the watchers" problem and adds heaps of interest. Real time public video feeds.

    • by kjart ( 941720 )

      Now all we need is to hook this in to the camera networks that already exist in a lot of cities.

      Seriously, it solves the "who watches the watchers" problem and adds heaps of interest. Real time public video feeds.

      How does becoming a 'watcher' solve the 'who watches the watchers' problem? The real problem with ubiquitous surveillance is not that they were observing you, but what they are doing with the information they glean from that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sir_Lewk ( 967686 )

      It doesn't solve the "who watches the watchmen" problem, it just adds more watchers. Now instead of just being wary of the government watching your every move, you have to be wary of that nosy neighbor across the street being even more nosy.

      What would solve the watchers problem would be some sort of system that would allow civilians to watch the people who are watching the civilians. Good luck ever having that happen.

    • How could I go about networking my colonoscopy-cam?

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by tehcyder ( 746570 )

      Seriously, it solves the "who watches the watchers" problem

      No, it just normalises the total surveillance society idea.

  • I haven't read the article yet, but I hope that it's not really Live Video. It would be a haven for real stalkers (not the cyber kind).
    • It is live video, but it's not a street cam or something like that. It's a bunch of guys with a camera wandering around the place, while the other guy using Bing Maps "looks around" at the same spot. The live video feed is (more or less) seamlessly stitched into the static pictures that you normally get, overlaying the part of the picture representing what the camera points at the moment.

      It does look cool, especially from a geek's perspective - I knew we have algorithms powerful enough to stitch static imag

  • Better summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:20AM (#31856102) Homepage
    Since neither the Slashdot summary nor the original article's prose describe what is meant by "live video", here is a better summary so you don't have to sit through 8 minutes of YouTube:

    The Bing mapping application can pull in images and videos, such as from Flickr, that have geolocation and timestamps, and overlay those with photo registration over top of the regular Bing street view images. That includes webcam sources that may be live.

  • Who else thinks that Google consists of alien gamers that are trying to complete a worldwide matrix simulation of earth (and every other planet they encounter). Why else would they datamine all the worlds knowledge *and* create a 3D model of the earth???
    We know after all that aliens are addicted to games: []. This only proves it!

    Now excuse me I have to go out to buy some more tinfoil...
  • by eggoeater ( 704775 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @08:36AM (#31856208) Journal
    Not that I'm a fan of Bing.... just sayin' they demo'd this a couple of months ago. I'll try to find a link.
  • Sim city? Next thing you know we'll have Google Mars and the ability to make martian families.
  • Double cool (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The technology is cool all in its own right. But take a look at the video. All cars look like they're all squashed by monster trucks. That makes it twice as cool!

  • It's been a while since I last looked at this, but a company in Sweden [] came up with an, arguably, better method to both Google and Bing for 3d maps.
  • The Future? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I work in GIS (Electronic maps) for a county government. I've seen some of the demos for this stuff, pretty interesting how they can process seperate data sources (photos & 3D shapes) into a 3D model programaticly, though I have been told it does mess up from time to time resulting in some hillarious views. But I think this tech is about to get blown away (or at least massively augmented) in the next few years. I've seen demos for what is best described as 3D rasters, Aerial images where the pixles h

  • So I can put glasses on and behold an annotated reality?

  • One thing I like about the present market for online mapping solutions is that it is a good example of competition actually working as it should, with two big players (Google and Microsoft) bringing in new features of their own, as well as reimplementing those that the other side thought of first. Google came up with Street View - and, recently, Bing Maps added the same (and camera control and transition animations are, IMO, better). Microsoft came up with "bird's eye" view (aerial photos at an angle, where

  • for the one and only feature I actually need in a map. ACCURACY.
    Why is it that ALL software based maps I have found to date are 2-3 YEARS behind the paper maps sold at the gas stations?

    At work I have a TomTom GPS with the latest North American map, including all corrections that are available to it, I have access to google maps, mapquest, yahoo, etc via an Internet connected laptop, and my blackberry has it's mapping application as well, and yet I still have to pull out a physical printed paper map book any

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