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This goes back to something I've imagined for flight planning for unmanned aerial vehicles http://bit.ly/psfuavspins but two of Joscelin's recent threads: an HDR mode app feature request http://bit.ly/psfashdr and his desire for smoother spins and walls yesterday http://bit.ly/psfssaw got me thinking about it again.
Whether this is able to be accomplished entirely by GPS (assuming that the update frequency and accuracy are sufficient) or whether the realtime feature tracking that you're using for the viewfinder would be of greater accuracy in realtime, I would like a feature which allows me to pull up a Bing Map of my location prior to shooting and trace my intended path on the map when specifying the type of synth I intend to shoot.
For a Spin, this could be done by marking the intended subject as a center point and then touching and dragging the radius/diameter to the intended distance.
The app could then help me know when I am getting too close or too far inside or outside that radius and could also aid me in getting more evenly spaced shots around the subject.
For a Wall, I imagine that being able to trace the edge of a building on a map could help. Some form of edge detection which can be used across multiple map tiles would be helpful here, rather than the user needing to draw a straight line by freeform drawing or point to point tracing.
I imagine that when shooting a Wall, the overlap will dictate shooting frequency, however some help in keeping a consistent distance from the wall would be appreciated. I grant that if you are shooting a macro wall, like the fall leaves in your test synth that GPS will be useless for this task, but perhaps feature tracking can still help in this case.
For Walk synths, I am again uncertain whether GPS coordinates will be accurate enough if I am intending to capture a shot every one step.
In cases where I am not following a premarked path which would be visible on a map (street, sidewalk, etc.), being able to trace my intended route on the map and let the app warn me when I am straying from it would be appreciated.
Admittedly, this feature does not do much for Panning synths individually, however if a user wants to shoot a series of panoramas, this sort of path planning would still be greatly appreciated, given a future where multiple panoramas can be navigated in the same way as multiple photos in a single synth can today.
I mentioned it in passing above, but just to say it again as its own point, the ability to specify the intended path first + then automatically divide that path into a specified number of captures would be very useful.
One thing that I can think of is that the app ought to be resilient to my needing to take more photos in a particular part of the path than planned by these average distance capture points. (For example, passing a foreground object which largely obscures what I have been tracking for several shots)
In other words, if I have laid out a path + divided it into 200 capture points, but then discover that part of the path requires more photos than average, I don't want the app to stop capturing once I get to the 200th photo.
This could also apply to laying out a Walk synth which cannot be covered in 200 photos but might require several 200 photo sequences. I would rather shoot a single path as a single capturing session, rather than stopping + starting.
Interesting thoughts, Nate. I am with you.
Forget about GPS only. It can deviate for 10 m. I think Glonass is more precise. Or, at least the European system should be, but I cannot think of its name. Assisted GPS (aGPS) helps as well, but cellular networks are not everywhere.
Ideally, both realtime feature tracking and satellite positioning data could be used together so that each compensates for the inaccuracies in the other, but yes there is some inaccuracy inherent in satellite data and it is not available if you're shooting indoors or under a tree canopy or in the middle of a metropolis with many skyscrapers which reflect signals all over the place.