05 November 2007

The 3D Digital Commons as Metaphor

A few months back I wrote about a video showing an intriguing project that built on the commons of public images posted to Flickr and the rest. By patching these together it was possible to recreate full, 3D representations of public spaces.

There's now a site with more info about this, as well as a paper on the subject:

With the recent rise in popularity of Internet photo sharing sites like Flickr and Google, community photo collections (CPCs) have emerged as a powerful new type of image dataset. For example, a search for “Notre Dame Paris” on Flickr yields more than 50,000 images showing the cathedral from myriad viewpoints and appearance conditions. This kind of data presents a singular opportunity: to reconstruct the world’s geometry using the largest known, most diverse, and largely untapped, multi-view stereo dataset ever assembled. What makes the dataset unusual is not only its size, but the fact tha it has been captured “in the wild”—not in the laboratory—leading to a set of fundamental new challenges in multi-view stereo research.

What's striking about this research - aside from the results, which are pretty dramatic - is that it provides a perfect metaphor for the benefit of pooling digital resources to create a commons. In this case, 2D pictures, many of limited value in themselves, are patched together to create an astonishingly detailed 3D representation of places that goes far beyond any single shot. And the more photos that are added, the richer that commons becomes. Exactly like all other digital commons.

3 comments:

McDawg said...

Stunning stuff indeed. (I hadn't seen this particular TED talk before - usual TED standard though).

It will be fascinating to see how this will develop over time as Flickr grows and grows in stature....

glyn moody said...

Indeed. But the point is, it's *guaranteed* to get more stunning....

McDawg said...

Correct