Omniveillance: Google stitches together “user-contributed” Photos to create 3D Photo Tours of Landmarks

April 25th, 2012

And I’m sure the people who submitted these photos agreed to some bizarre term of service that gave Google full permission to do anything they want with their content–like the TOS for Google Drive.

To produce these photo tours, we use advanced computer vision techniques to create a 3D experience from public, user-contributed Picasa and Panaromio photos. We start by finding clusters of overlapping photos around major landmarks. From the photos, our system derives the 3D shape of each landmark and computes the location and orientation of each photo. Google Maps then selects a path through the best images, and adds 3D transitions to seamlessly guide you from photo to photo as if you’re literally flying around the landmark and viewing it from different perspectives