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Crowdsourcing Virtual Photo Worlds


In the future, we might be able to roam around a 3D virtual representation of our world, where everything you see was automatically generated from photographs taken at the real locations.

Vision researchers at the University of Washington and Cornell University have been working on turning photographs of things in the real world into 3-dimensional representations. This research could eventually turn snapshots into virtual buildings, neighborhoods, and possibly cities.

PhotoCity is a new online game created by researchers that aims to harness the power of crowdsourcing in order to obtain the photographs needed for reconstructing these locations. Here’s a short 1 minute introduction of how the game works:

In addition to playing with a 2 or 3 megapixel camera, they’ve also released an iPhone app:

We’re pretty darn excited to see how photography will play a role in the technologies we’ll be using in the future.

Thanks for the tip, @eugenephoto

P.S. If you haven’t seen the TED 2007 demo of Microsoft’s Sea Dragon and Photosynth technologies, you’re in for a treat.