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.