topical media & game development

talk show tell print

example(s) -- visible world

Just imagine that every visible place on earth would be accessible in a virtual world. Researchers of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, have developed software for the semi-automated construction of detailed interactive urban environments, that takes data from multiple sources, including geo-corrected imagery from aerial photography and satelites and ground-based close-ups,  [World].

The challenge here is to collect data from multiple sources and convert this into models, and perhaps even more difficult, to make the models visible so that they can be navigated in an interactive fashion. Recently, the Georgia group teamed up with a group from Berkeley to develop more complex models (images on the left), and together they are working on automating the extraction of information from aerial pictures (image on the right), in particular the detection of groups of trees, and height estimation.

There are many applications for such technology, including urban planning, emergency response, tourism and entertainment, military operations, traffic management, construction and maintenance, mobile services, citizen-government relations, and (not in the least) games.

The next step might be to connect the cameras, that are already there in many of these places, to the model, to observe what happens there in real life. But, somehow, this vision becomes frightening.

However, if you want to give it a try yourself, and populate the virtual globe with your own creations, go download the viewer and editing tool from Google Earth:

Google Earth

and read the tutorials!

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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