Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Google Street View in 3D

What initially appeared as just another Google April fool's prank may actually be a real update to Street View imagery available on Google Map. By clicking on an icon of a guy with coloured glasses users can now activate 3D view option.

3D effect is created by converting imagery to complementary color anaglyps and thus requires glasses with red and cyan filters to view. The results are not very spectacular since the process to generate anaglyps was applied only to some of image tiles in the view and because many areas have only dull, low resolution images. Therefore, for majority of areas 3D effect is rather artificial. However, it works quite well for areas with the most recent, high resolution imagery. Above is a shot from one of my favorite places on Earth: Italian Amalfi Coast.

There is a renewed interest in 3D display capability sparked by recent success of 3D versions of popular movies, such as Avatar, and now even TV sets manufacturers are attempting to capitalise on the trend by bringing to the market 3D capable models.