Google researchers use user-uploaded photos to create time-lapse videos

According to a new research report, a team of researchers formed by Google and University of Washington have created almost 11,000 time-lapse videos of different landmark sites all over the world from the photos uploaded by users. The researchers, which used about 86 million photos that were publicly shared online, said that the researched field they were working on is called time-lapse mining.

The researchers created exactly 10,728 time-lapse videos of various landmark sites scattered all over the world, showing how they have changed over time. The sites included cities, construction/renovation of prominent buildings and changes made by the weather on geographical scale. The time-lapse shows very significant geological changes including melting glaciers and decaying sites.

Most of the time-lapse videos contain images spanned over a period of several years. Usually, a camera fitted at one place is used to record time-lapse videos and after gathering enough videos spread over various months of years, it is then split into several short pieces in order to make one time-lapse video.

However, researchers had to work hard in order to put photos together for a single location time-lapse video. They used complex algorithms and mathematical equations to measure distance between key points and then rendering them accordingly.

According to the researchers, “This capability is transformative; whereas before it took months or years to create one such time-lapse, we can now almost instantly create thousands of time-lapses covering the most popular places on earth.” The researchers also said that 11,000 time-lapse videos is just the beginning of this new field which has great potential to be explored for further ideas as well. More and more people are uploading photos on the internet which can be used to create similar time-lapsed videos of any location.


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