Cool Google project automatically creates amazing time-lapse videos from public photos

Google auto time-lapse animation

Google researchers teamed up with scientists from the University of Washington on a unique project which taps into a rich poll of public photos on Yahoo’s Flickr, as well as on its own Picasa and Google+ services and other places, to automate the creation of amazing time-lapse videos of popular tourists landmarks, Engadget reported Monday.

Leveraging sophisticated algorithms, the project clusters a whopping 86 million photos and stitches them together into landmarks and popular viewpoints.

“We sort the photos by date and warp each photo onto a common viewpoint,” explains Google. “Finally, we stabilize the appearance of the sequence to compensate for lighting effects and minimize flicker.”

Google only taps user-submitted photos that have been geotagged and published with a Creative Commons license. These color-corrected images then result in remarkably uniform time-lapse videos.

Amazingly enough, the system is completely automated.

Resulting time-lapses show everything from popular tourists destinations to the diverse changes in nature such as shrinking glaciers, skyscrapers being constructed, waterfalls changing course and more.

The system has created more than 10,000 time-lapse videos featuring almost 3,000 landmarks. Many time-lapses contain over a thousand different photographs, taking around six hours to render on a single computer.

To learn more about the magic taking place behind the scenes, check out the white paper here.

Source: University of Washington via Engadget