Just imagine what it would be like to see historical changes in our world occur over time.
One site that gives us the ability to view history through time lapse mining from internet archived photos is a reality.
Ricardo Martin-Brualla of the University of Washington and David Gallup and Steven M. Seitz of Goggle Inc. have devised a method of mining photos of a particular subject from the numerous free archives online, piecing them together chronologically, setting them around a median, and stabilizing the result, creating a time-lapse video.
The video below shows the results of this process using images spanning several years of oft photographed landmarks such a Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Lombard Street in San Francisco, glaciers in Alaska and Norway, the World Trade Center and major cityscapes.
The process has been tested and improved upon using subjects that are frequently photographed by the general public and saved to free photo storage and sharing sites such as Picasa, Panoriamio and Flickr.
This process they call time-lapse mining takes millions of photos available online, sorting chronologically, and creating a 3D time lapse video of the subject. Once the photos have been overlapped to document the very slow changes over time, the images are stabilized.
According to the researchers:
The scale and ubiquity of our mined time-lapses creates a new paradigm for visualizing global changes. As more photos become available online, mined time lapses will visualize even longer time periods, showing more drastic changes.
So far, the researchers have created 10,728 time lapses of 2,942 landmarks, the majority of which are in Europe. The quantity and subject matter of these videos is dictated solely by the availability of images online.
I find this new technology fascinating and can’t wait to see how this progresses.