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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3D Microsoft Live Local

Microsoft’s Live Local includes ‘Birds Eye’ images which provide various views around buildings. Its interesting in terms of views but compared to Google Earth lacks any interactivty or 3D Element.

Therefore, using these images we thought it would be interesting to try and construct 3D Models from the data. Below displays an image from the output, you basically get a 3D model rendered out of the webpage screengrab. You could of course then port it into Google Earth….

A Quicktime movie of the model can be viewed from here (8Mb).

Author Bio

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


  1. Anonymous - January 19, 2006

    hey just stumbled upon this blog and just wanted to say how great it is, keep up the good work!


  2. Anonymous - July 19, 2006

    Can you elaborate more on how you were able to create this 3D image from all sides?

  3. Smithee - July 20, 2006

    Thanks for the comment.. it was purely a trail so we screen grabbed images from Microsoft Live which covers all angles of the buildings.

    From this we were able to easily create the model as the images from Microsoft Live provide the perfect angle.

    If we had the raw source images we could of course of made a much better job of it…

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