Follow us:

Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 15, 2009 at 12:37 PM

UW unveils Photosynth 2.0: Building 3-D synth cities

Researchers at the University of Washington are taking photo-stitching — the “photo tourism” technology behind Microsoft’s cool Photosynth service — to the next level, using it to scour public photos and build 3-D models of entire cities.

Photosynth does the same thing for buildings or landmarks — assembling Flickr images of Trevi Fountain to build a 3-D rendering that can be explored from different angles. It was developed at the UW and licensed to Microsoft in 2006.

Today the UW is calling out the work, by Sameer Agarwal, an acting professor of computer science, and Noah Snavely, who worked on photo tourism as a UW doctoral student and now teaches at Cornell University.

In one example, they used all 58,000 images of Dubrovnik on Flickr to build a model, which took five hours using 352 compute cores.

“With Photosynth and Photo Tourism, we basically reconstruct individual landmarks. Here we’re trying to reconstruct entire cities,” Snavely said in the release.

Agarwal was lead author of a paper on the project being presented at the International Conference on Computer Vision in Kyoto, Japan, next month.

Check out the videos. I wonder if this is how Earth will appear to alien robots if they invade our planet someday.

Comments | Topics: Education, Microsoft, photosynth

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►