Timelapse Mining from Public Photos

Timelapse Mining from Public Internet Photos

Any timelaspe for a long duration is made by placing camera focused on the same spot for a long duration to record any changes over time.

But by using publicly location-tagged (geo-tagged) images available online on Flickr, Picasa and other publicly accessible photo albums, researchers at Google and the University of Washington have found a way to automatically and “almost instantly” mine  images  and use them to create time-lapse videos that span months or, sometimes, years.

This may be the first time the term “Timelapse – Mining” is used ever. 

Their research paper Time-lapse Mining from Internet Photos, To appear in ACM SIGGRAPH 2015 and is available here

They used 86 million photos. The team said it constructed 10,728 timelapses of 2,942 landmarks. Europe contains the highest density of sites turned into timelapses for the project, and Africa and South America have the fewest sites, based on the availability of photos in the public photo repositories the researchers examined..

Basilica of St. Maria of Salute, Venice

Basilica of St. Maria of Salute, Venice (University of Washington/Creative Commons)

“We introduce an approach for synthesizing time-lapse videos of popular landmarks from large community photo collections. The approach is completely automated and leverages the vast quantity of photos available online. First, we cluster 86 million photos into landmarks and popular viewpoints. Then, we sort the photos by date and warp each photo onto a common viewpoint. Finally, we stabilize the appearance of the sequence to compensate for lighting effects and minimize flicker. Our resulting time-lapses show diverse changes in the world’s most popular sites, like glaciers shrinking, skyscrapers being constructed, and waterfalls changing course.” they said on their page.

Movement of a sandbank in Thailand(University of Washington/Creative Commons)

Movement of a sandbank in Thailand(University of Washington/Creative Commons)

Retreat of the Briksdalsbreen Glacier in Norway.(University of Washington/Creative Commons)

Retreat of the Briksdalsbreen Glacier in Norway.(University of Washington/Creative Commons)

The time-lapses show buildings being constructed in Las Vegas.

The time-lapses show buildings being constructed in Las Vegas. (University of Washington/Creative Commons)

Goldman Sachs Tower time lapse. (Google/University of Washington)

Goldman Sachs Tower time lapse. (Google/University of Washington)

 

“Some places have quite a seasonal rhythm,” Ricardo Martin Brualla said in the video explaining the project.

These timelapses are so dope to watch. More good news is that they are about to release their code publicly.

 

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