Viewfinder: tool for "Flickrizing" Google Earth


16 Responses to “Viewfinder: tool for "Flickrizing" Google Earth”

  1. uberklokk says:

    >”We’re definitely impressed by photosynth”
    >No shit, kids, they beat you to the punch, totally.
    it’s way beyond being “beaten to the punch”: photosynth is a real and advanced technology; this thing is just “me too” hot air.

  2. imipak says:

    There’s some Free software that sort-of does something a bit like the first half of this for raw images coming down from the MER Mars rovers: Midnight Mars Browser, (screenshots on Flickr.)

    (No 3D world model though, just multiple images automatically composited into perspective views.) And of course the images come with precise metadata on filters used, alt/az, time of day, etc. I can’t see it being computationally feasible to do this without that metadata.

  3. noen says:

    There is no reason to believe we won’t eventually do this for every inch on the surface of the Earth. And then take it live. You’ll be able to walk down the street and have detailed information on every object, man made or not, you encounter. The boundary between the real and the virtual will blur to where they are nearly inseparable from one another.

    Of course, this will only be for the select few. The rest of us will be living in mud huts.

  4. haileris says:

    If you want more info on photosynth and the research paper/people behind it:

  5. Takuan says:

    mud huts? Mud Huts!? Gor! Bloody posh are’t we! When I were a wee ‘un we at the Aleph Singularity, all we had were a drain in the middle of the galaxy! Mud huts! A drain it were, all manky with stray neutrinos and scraps of other folk’s dark matter – and bloody grateful we were for it too! Mud huts! I never……..

  6. Michiel says:

    Reminds me of the virtual artwork from William Gibsons Spook Country.

    Didn’t like this though: what it did was put some pictures in a very very boring context. It drags your focus away from the scene in the picture, instead of enhancing it.

  7. Drowse says:

    This is really fascinating and could be useful too. I work in the mapping department of an electric co-op near Fort Worth, and we constantly use either Google Earth’s street view or Live Search Maps’s (msn) Birds-eye-view. This would be another useful resource for locating electric lines and the sort.

    Live Search Maps website:

  8. Haesae says:

    I wonder what results this will generate if you go looking for CIA black sites or other politically sensitive information. Intriguing. . .

  9. ttcfcl says:

    Well there is NO way a project bought (licenesed, whatever) by MICRO$OFT would ever find its way into a GOOGLE app. So yea, Viewfinder does have a legit purpose other than being just “me too” copyware.

  10. jakekingdead says:


    Photosynth anyone?

    Or am i missing something.

  11. wcrtr says:

    Yes, the photosynth stuff is clearly “real” technology and isn’t “hot air.” But take a look at the paper and you’ll notice that the methods it uses to pose photographs will actually throw out a large percentage of “normal” photos. This isn’t to say that photosynth isn’t completely awesome, but it’s approaching what amounts to a similar problem in a very different way.

  12. zikzak says:

    Since the pictures are sourced from Flickr, it would be fun to subtly photoshop real pictures of scenery to include fantastic elements, and then geo-code them to appear naturally in this app.

    like, a normal picture of a block in manhattan, only look, there’s osama bin laden buying a hot dog!

    i could see a new version of photoshop tennis developing, where artists show off by uploading pictures which modify a section of the virtual environment according to a supposed scenario or theme – essentially creating a photographic alternate universe of a given location.

  13. euthanaut says:

    on the upside, though, the wilco album cover was a nice touch…

  14. noen says:

    Zikzak that’s brilliant, I love it.

  15. DeathBoy says:

    “We’re definitely impressed by photosynth”

    No shit, kids, they beat you to the punch, totally.

    All that trendy marketing talk and their pre-rendered video isn’t a fraction as cool as the photosynth working demo.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree photosynth..

    Do a search for “photosynth tedcom” on you tube and you’ll find the original vid on photosynth and seadragon or whatever it’s called :p

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