Ming the Mechanic:
Photos and street maps

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Photos and street maps2005-01-27 23:43
10 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

I only heard about it yesterday, so I think it is a new thing. The major yellow page site in France, Pages Jaunes, which also serves up maps and other services, now has photos to go with their maps, for most metropolitan areas in France. I.e. a bunch of people have gone around with digital cameras and photographed every street and every house. I thought at first, sure, that would just be the center of town. But, lo and behold, I typed in my own address, and there was a picture of my house. And not just one, but several views. And everything else on our little street. One can click some arrows and take a little virtual walk up and down the street, and turn around and do it again. I couldn't walk on to another street, which was a little annoying. But then I'd probably have been walking around for hours.

Oddly, the different pictures from the street were from different times. I can guess why. The first pictures are probably 3 or 4 years old. Our house didn't exist then. So if I "walk" up and down the street, there's an empty lot there, and an old wall. But if I turn to the side and look, there's the house. Still a picture taken before we moved in, as the gate hadn't been painted yet. We moved there 1.5 years ago, when the house was a year old. Anyway, it seems that whoever organized these pictures found out there was a new house built, and sent somebody out to take pictures of it. What an honor.

This could all be improved, of course. I don't think there's anything technologically in the way of the pictures being taken in such a way that they could be stitched together into a continuous VR experience. You know, mount a 360 degree camera on top of a car, take a full picture every 5 meters, and GPS code them. And then let me fly through the streets in a fluid motion. And then give me driving directions as a video, rather than this thing with "drive 0.325km to the SE and merge right onto connector road 44b"


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10 comments

28 Jan 2005 @ 15:45 by Kevin Elliott @67.169.17.238 : Excellent idea!
I really like the idea of mounting a 360 degree camera and creating a fluid motion video for directions. Take this a step further, when car computers become more proliferated, and synchronize the video playback (that is generated from stitches to the car's current location), and let the driver decide whether or not to have it play 100 meters ahead or something, and text-to-voice the directions as they occur. Video based navigation.  


29 Jan 2005 @ 06:13 by kim @65.42.184.8 : photo mapping
here's video on how they did it here(us). their "we're hiring" talk suggests to me that we may have your gps video dream while i'm still young enough to use it.  


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