Topic: Live Maps bird's eye shots

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bitplane (Over 1 year ago)
I wrote a little tool to extract the bird's eye pictures out, this is probably against Microsoft's terms but I just had to try it for fun. 
So far I've been unsuccessful at synthing them together - the different orientations don't synth, nor do the aerial shots or any of my pictures (so far anyway).
This is bound to work eventually with enough practice though, but the main problem is that any tool that downloads the image tiles, combines, crops, then saves them back out as JPGs will create an image with a different hash and no metadata, the final synth will be quite useless.
It would be really cool if Microsoft let us use these images from within the Photosynth client, then we could really start stitching a 3D map of the world together.

Has anyone else had any luck with the bird's eye shots from Live Maps?
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
I have not delved into this, but it sound v interestin. I will stay tuned...
Marvin (Over 1 year ago)
Take a look at:  

It's not exactly what you're suggesting, but close. 

I combined VE screenshots (you can even see the taskbar on the bottom) with actual images of the city.  Took an evening fiddling around, making sure there were enough (i.e. 3) shots at every zoom level.
tigre7 (Over 1 year ago)
Hi how can you measure the size of buildings and trees in this and show a scale?
Marvin (Over 1 year ago)
Hi tigre7.  Not sure what you're asking, but if you want to have a reference to some fixed scale, include a photograph of a ruler or some standard-sized object like a penny.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)

If I understand correctly, the SIFT algorithm(s?) that Photosynth and other Structure From Motion utilities use desires differences of 30 degrees or less between photos for a successful feature match. Being that the Bird's Eye View/oblique photos are generally taken at 90 degree intervals, it seems like trying to synth the North, South, East, and West Bird's Eye shots together is a bit of a lost cause at the moment. 

What I thought of ages ago and still haven't tried is getting all the North facing Bird's Eye shots for a certain grid and trying to synth them all together. This should work for any direction, but I'd like to try one compass direction at a time, essentially resulting in four synths for any given grid based soley on Bird's Eye View shots.

I'd love to use the original Bird's Eye images with original metadata intact, but a (tedious) workaround would be to use the Microsoft Photo Calibration Tool to reverse engineer the EXIF orientation.