Further to our previous post on Controlling Google Earth ala Minority Report, thanks to the Atlas Gloves from was Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv, we decided to try them out for ourselves.

Using a pair of ping pong balls, that Joel our System Administrator found in a cupboard at home, a couple of led torches from down Tottenham Court Road and a touch of superglue we cobbled together our interpretation of the Atlas Glove controllers. (pictured right).

For our test we utilized a projector displaying Google Earth and the control software in a blacked out lecture theatre. This allowed a clear view of the lights which are turned on and off in combination with various hand gestures to remotely control Google Earth. The movie below demonstrates the trial, we were going to leave the movie audio free but couldn’t resist dubbing in the The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Stokowski. The controller is Joel who quickly became a master of the technique.

Linking Google Earth to a remote vision based control interface is impressive and the fact it worked first time is testament to the teams clear instructions and software.

Of note to some users experiencing a ‘Grey Screen’ when loading the software, through trial and error we found that you also need to install WinVDIG version 1.1.1 (not the current 1.5 release). This enabled the control software to communicate with the webcam.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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4D Cities – Inferring Temporal Order of Images From 3D Structure

The concept of time introduces the fourth dimension to city models. Recent history can be reconstructed from photographs or prints but this is often a slow manual process.

Technology capable to identify photographs according to vantage point and linking them in a three dimensional interface is about to reach the market in the form of Microsoft’s Photosynth. If you take this a step further and link photographs over time with an enhanced 3D view rather than Microsoft’s point cloud then you approach the 4D Cities Concept of Grant Schindler a Ph.D. Student, Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Computing.

The YouTube movie below provides an insight into the project:

In an article in New Scientist Frank Dellaert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who built the system with his colleague Grant Schindler and Sing Bing Kang of Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, Washington states that:

“The system shows the city changing over time as old buildings are demolished and new ones are constructed,” says Schindler. “You’ll be able to see what the view out of your window looked like 100 years ago.”

It is well worth taking a look at Grant’s webpage at the Georgia Institute of Technology – especially the 4D Flythrough.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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