Google’s new street map uses multi-angle camera
There’s a scene in Star Wars Clone Wars where a clone trooper tosses up a floating remote camera and uses it to survey the entire city from the safety of building’s rubble. The camera has multiple lenses to provide complete 360 degree coverage of the entire area. In real life, this was largely the kind of idea used by the Walt Disney company for many of their 360 degree movies they showed at Disneyland and Epcot – only they used multiple cameras, not one camera with multiple lenses.
Now Google is using life to imitate art with their latest “street view” features of Google maps. Immersive Media is the company which uses a drive by technique, and a multi-lensed camera – called the Dodeca Telemmersion® System.
The camera system weighs about 20 pounds and provides hi-resolution videos from eleven different angles. This allows for the operator to look at 360 degrees around, plus up and down. There is also the option to view the angles either separately, or joined together in a panoramic video image. The video is also “geo referenced,” meaning it can use GPS data to plot where the images are being recorded on a map.
The images may be viewed on a monitor or laptop display, but also through a head mounted display which allows you to look at various angles around you with a simple turn of your head.
Too bad it doesn’t float on it’s own high above the city for a bird’s eye view. But it can also be mounted on a plane, helicopter, or even boat.