Creating Virtual City Tours Through 'Photo Tourism'

By combing through images on Flickr, a team of researchers has created a 3-D model of the city of Rome constructed from 150,000 tourist snapshots.

"A team from the University of Washington (UW) has developed a new computer algorithm that uses hundreds of thousands of tourist photos to automatically reconstruct an entire city in about a day. It's thought that one use for the technology could be to provide visitors with an on-line virtual-reality 3-D tour of cities they visit.

UW has been studying ways of utilizing the increasingly large digital photo collections available on photo-sharing websites like Flickr. The digital Rome was built from 150,000 tourist photos tagged on that site with the word ‘Rome' or ‘Roma' (there are around 2 million ‘Rome/Roma' images on the site)."

Within just 21 hours, the algorithm was able to compile the images to create a 3-D photoreal model of the city. The researchers say they'll be able to model any city with large amounts of photos and essentially create virtual tours.

Full Story: Rome can be rebuilt in a day – digitally

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00