The undiscover'd Street View from whose bourn no Google Car returns...
October 13, 2009 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to create a Google Street View™, but with old photographs?

Can old photographs of a city somehow be stitched together to create - more or less - a walkable street-level map? I understand that Google uses millions of images all taken close together in time but from a variety of angles to create an almost "seamless" view, and that nothing exactly like that would be possible. But if a large number of photographs from a wider time period (say 1895 to 1905) were plotted on an old city map for location/angle/height, would that manage to create something vaguely similar?

I understand that only for the city centers of large cities would a large number of photographs exist, and there would be greater changes from one image to the next.
posted by Sova to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like you want PhotoSynth. I haven't seen that particular use-case, but assuming the buildings remained mostly the same, it might return useful results.
posted by Alterscape at 8:39 AM on October 13, 2009 [3 favorites]

That sample for PhotoSynth's home page (Lalibela (Bete Giyorgis) - Ethiopia) looks like marketing for Uncharted 2.

If you actually have such photographs, the best result will be to custom-make something, probably in Adobe Flash. Google works procedurally because they have billions of images and angles to present, but for a relatively small set of data, you'll get better results by hand-making an application.

For that matter, building a 'fly through' with some 3d environment software would give even better results. See those 'artsy' mods for Half-Life 2, like Falling Water etc.
posted by rokusan at 10:05 AM on October 13, 2009

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