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dberdinka

Google Earth Black Magic

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Maybe this is old news but Google Earth has done some sort of magic in Yosemite and Zion National Parks with an incredibly detailed and accurate rendering of the landscape and cliff faces from every possible angle. Features seem accurate down to a meter or less. Overhangs are accurately depicted. Wild stuff to waste the afternoon on....How? How did they possibly do that?

 

Even the waterfall spray is a 3-D rendering

 

lostarrowspire.jpg

 

Temple of Sinwava in Zion with perfect detail on The Pulpit

 

temple_of_sinwava.jpg

 

 

elcap1.jpg

 

Even the trees are accurate in height

 

crazy.png

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That last photo pair is kind of scary. MAybe you don't need to take your trips any more. Just take Google earth shots from the vantage points you expect to encounter along the way, have Google generate a story based on your past TRs, experience, fitness, and sexual orientation, which they already know, and voila! Instant virtual trip report!

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It won't be long before Google has the entire surface of the Earth scanned and modeled. The scary part that it won't be for our entertainment, it'll be for commercial purposes, think autonomous cars followed by autonomous drones. It'll be skynet before long.

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My buddy is a land surveyor and he mentioned a not-so-new technology being used in commercial surveying these days. It's basically LIDAR (using a LASER to scan distances from above' like a fish finder but pinpointed), but position on the ground. The surveyors set up on a station, the devise does a 360 scan (scanning both horizontally and vertically, records distances from station. Then the surveyor sets up on another station, repeats the scanning, then moves to another station.... Using CT technology, the data from the different stations can be squashed into one 3d model.

 

For the land surveying, they generate the model, then a technician views the data on a computer and keys up the model ("that's a tree, that's the edge of the curb, that's a hydrant...." My guess is these google goodies are created using this sort of technology.

 

http://www.landairsurveying.com/3d-laser-scanning/

 

I think radiohead has a video out that was created using this tech.

 

 

 

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