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[:RU]How does Google make panoramic pictures of streets[:]

[:RU]Service Google Street View allows us to see the panoramic views of streets of many cities in the world with a height of about 2.5 meters. You can take a virtual walk-around visibility from around the globe.

Panorama images Google gets with special cameras with 360 degrees installed in cars, bicycles, and even boats and snowmobiles. As a result, it created a large 3D-photography, which is photographically accurate model of the city, with all the details inherent to the area.

Let’s see how it’s done.


Service «Street view» from Google was launched on 25 May 2007. When the project began, we put in the trunk of the jeep several computers attached cameras, lasers, GPS device on the roof and went to take his first collection of images. Then, Google has acquired a fleet of vehicles to extend the project to the entire territory of the United States and beyond to all continents of the globe.

After a series of experiments with cars and technologies Google stopped 15 circular lenses for shooting. On machines are also installed GPS-receivers to fix the situation, the hard disk to store data, a small computer and lasers to capture three-dimensional data, which are used to determine the distance to objects.

But the most interesting and attractive objects are impossible to capture with the help of the car. For example, in the historic districts of many cities travel by car is prohibited. But one day, during a bike ride in the mountains, a mechanical engineer Dan Ratner had the idea that it is possible to combine his favorite hobby with the filming locations for the new «Street View»:

So there was a tricycle from Google or velotrayk. He’s allowed to move where it is impossible to do it in a car: the parks and paths, the historic center, to penetrate university campuses and even sports stadiums.

But that was not all, as were many other interesting places, such as in the mountains. And then there was the idea of ​​placing Google shooting equipment on a snowmobile:

The latest version of Google with the camera 360 degrees used in the filming for the project Google Street View:

The equipment is already there, but we need to get quality photos to create panoramas of streets. When planning a route survey should take into account the position of the sun: it must be high enough to shade from nearby objects do not fall on the building. It is also necessary to take into account the weather and temperature conditions, as snow, fog, or rain can cause delays in the timetable and cause blurry images.

For example, take original photos of London. Then all the images «glued» together, overlapping sections are removed and creates a continuous circular image — Panorama:

This image appears distorted, since it is the projection of the sphere onto the surface of a circular cylinder. Similarly will look globe, if you try to draw it to the surface of the sheet of paper.

After that, the image is projected back to the sphere, and Street View, it looks natural. This is the final version. Images can zoom, delete, twist in all directions with the mouse and move to other streets.

With this technology, users can view images of streets, a virtual walk through many cities of the world and even to read the inscription on road signs.

When moving along the streets Google determine which images we should see. This helps the signals ever laser sensors mounted on the vehicle. Based on the speed of laser beams reflected from the surface is determined by the distance to the object, which allows google to design three-dimensional model. When you place your mouse over a remote area, the volume model helps to choose the best view for showing the location.

Well, the «Street view» from Google, meanwhile, reached the great river Amazon, August 17th, 2011.

«Magic» by Google camera with 360 degrees, set on a boat, the river Rio Negro — the largest left tributary of the Amazon, August 17, 2011.

Work Google to create virtual panoramas continues.

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