A Movie Map of the Future

By Derek Mead

Imagine a virtual reality mapping environment designed to perfectly replicate a city’s streets and buildings. It could be powered by the data from a team of cars driving around with roof-mounted cameras pointing in every direction, whose images can then be manipulated into a map-based wireframe grid to fully immerse users. OK, so you’re thinking this is old hat, right? I mean, Google Street View has been doing this for years now. Thing is, the idea was around long before Google. In fact, M.I.T. students were doing the same thing on the rich streets of Aspen as far back as 1978.

The Aspen Movie Map was headed by Michael Naimark, Peter Clay, and Bob Mohl, who were working out of M.I.T.‘s Architecture Machine Group, the predecessor to the school’s vaunted Media Lab. The DARPA-funded concept was brilliant: The team used video from 16mm stop-frame film cameras mounted on cars to create a “movie” of Aspen’s streets.

Read the rest at Motherboard.

Comments