1,000,000 Photo Time-Lapse

Over the course of 3 years, photographer Ken Loutit took 1,000,000 photographs of Singapore.  You can see the different scenes and scenery in the shots as he re-visited places to get shots of construction progress.  If the 1 million photos wasn’t impressive enough, know that the above time-lapse used only about a quarter of those, and that the total space was 10 terabytes.

He used two camera bodies with old Nikon lenses that he modified himself by removing the aperture pins.  Above I said there was 10TB of data he created, well instead of spending thousands of dollars on local RAID arrays, he had just one, and mirrored it to Google Drive for a backup.  I bet Google loved that.  135MB/s internet speeds helped make the data collection and saving easier, I know I’d kill the server performance by uploading all of that here.

{Peta Pixel|DigitalRev}

Border Differences

reddit user adamc4 has spent some time looking through Google Street View along the borders of US States.  He noticed that sometimes it’s pretty easy to tell when you’re entering a new jurisdiction without even needing the giant “Welcome” signs.

MD-DE Border

Other times it’s not as apparent, except for the abrupt end new pavement, and the mis-matched lines.

PA-MD border

It’s a neat exercise and I’m sure there are other examples.  He has a few more border differences in this imgur album.  People on reddit even showed that other countries are similar, except on a country scale.

Crowd-Sourced Time-lapses

The internet is an amazing place.  Researchers at Google and the University of Washington have come up with a way to analyzes photos taken, and uploaded to the internet and create history with them.

The first thing they did was download 86 million photos from various points of interest around the world.  Then they align the photos, normalize the exposure, sort them chronologically, and in the end, create a time-lapse of the thousands of photos taken from different people, at different time,s showing different things.  It’s really something cool.

For the most part only largely static things are visible in the generated time-lapses, meaning, no moving clouds, or cars, or people.  That is, except for a Swiss Guard at The Vatican, he (or they actually), stand so still, and in the same spot, that he’s a blurred in there.  The process isn’t perfect, (yet), photos with blury shots, or where the focus is on a different point mess up the video, and photos taken at night, or evening cause strange effects when the exposure is normalized.  But all in all, it’s pretty cool, the video above is only 5 minutes long, watch it.

{Peta Pixel |Paper}

360° Video

Google & YouTube have just released the coolest new feature on the site in years.  Sure Performance enhancements, and HTML5 Video are cool and all, but this wins hands down. 360° Pannable video, that’s right, take your mouse, and drag around the screen to move the camera’s viewpoint.  It’s frekin ACE.  It’s too bad it currently only works in Chrome

The Red Bull F1 video is the best of those 6 in the playlist,  if you only watch one, watch that.  The only downside I have is that the resolution is very poor, it reminds me of what YouTube was like when it first launched, not the 1080p stuff we’re used to today.  But these are just the first videos uploaded to show the experience, I’m sure it will get better as more people take advantage of it.  You should take advantage of the viewing,  As I said before, it’s ACE.

{Google Operating System|YouTube Blog}

Smarty Pins

smarty 11

Google has a great trivia game out, Smarty Pins.  They present you with a map of the world (usually zoomed in to somewhere in the area of the answer).   You are given a trivia question.  You answer the question by dropping a pin on the map where you think it should go.  The number of miles off you are from the actual location get deducted from your total start milage, (1,000).  Answering questions quickly gets you extra miles.

It’s surprisingly fun.  However, it’s easy to loose quickly.  I was way off in the answer to one question (wrong coast of the US), and that ended my game completely.

{Destructoid}

The SKY!

This is a pretty neat idea.  Using NASA’s Gamma-Ray Coordinate Network, a team of developers have hooked it up with Google Sky Map to provide real time information about the heavens above your very head.  It’s pretty powerful.  Now if only we could have faster than light travel, or some sort of photos from these places ourselves, that’d be ace.  But until we invent those things, (or someone from an alternate reality sends us the technology), we’re stuck with our Hi (low) Res photos from Hubble.

{Engadget|Motherboard}

The Internet


Click the image to open the interactive version (via PennyStocks.la).

I’m not entirely sure how accurate this is, but it’s still pretty neat.  It does raise some questions though.  Like where does all this data go?  Who consumes it?  Would someone miss it if it even 0.0001% of it got deleted?

All of this needs to be saved somewhere, it’s all data.  So let’s just assume that every one of those is now replicated 5x (at least).  That’s a heck of a lot of hard disk space.  It reminds me of a 365 Tomorrows story that unfortunately, I can’t remember.  I probably starred it in Google Reader, but that’s gone. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, please let me know!  The gist of the story was that in the future, there’s not enough space left to save digital files.  So everyone is allotted a life quota of GB (or TB, or some other set ammount), and when they run out they can’t do anything anymore.  Well one old woman was reaching her limit, and her family was trying to get her to delete stuff, and she said she would, but she just couldn’t.  I can’t remember what she wouldn’t delete, but it was still an interesting story.

{reddit}

Don’t Get Lost

Lost Game

The exact opposite of last week’s post, this time the goal is to not get lost.

The instructions are pretty basic and easy to follow.  The hardest part is waiting for the street view photos to load (you’ll be doing alot of “driving”…).

I played it and ended up in some eastern European country based on the few street signs I was able to see.  I landed in a pretty good spot because it only took me about 10 minutes before I hit a main road.  And then I made a lucky turn, and saw a sign that said Moscow (in Russian, so apparently I was in Russia),  185km.  So I just followed that road south.

Let me tell you this, waiting for the street view photos to load took the longest time.  I don’t know why, my internet isn’t that bad, but I would often get just a white screen.  Next it may seem like you’re traveling real fast, but I was definitely going less then 50km/h because it seemed like forever until I made it to 100km till Moscow.

Unfortunately my browser crashed before I was able to finish, after I had invested a few hours over a few days into it, and I just don’t care enough to start again.

{source}

The Pokemon Master

Google has a long history with April Fools pranks.  In fact, their most famous one (which wasn’t a joke at all, but seemed like one at the time), Gmail,  is turning 10 today. That’s not to bad if you ask me.

However, this year, Google may have outdid themselves.  Integrating Pokemon with Google Maps, and having to go out and catch em all, well that was ingenious.  I only wish that the time frame was longer then the day and a half that they’ve allotted.  Or perhaps it will be something that is always available, but the contest ends tomorrow.  Either way, I can see hours of time wasted doing this in the coming day.

{Google}