Google's 'Omega Man' Street View Solution

Google has come up with a drastic solution to the privacy problem posed by litigious Americans appearing in their Street View scenes: remove every pedestrian from every picture.


(Google Street View vanishing pedestrian)

Google's Street View vans use nine roof-mounted cameras to take regular shots of the scene around them. These are then stitched together to produce a near-seamless panoramic view. But automatically removing people from thousands of varied images, each showing different scenes, is a challenge.

Flores's software first has to detect any pedestrians in a scene. This is done using a standard object-recognition algorithm called implicit shape model (ISM), which was developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. "The idea is to find a rough contour of pedestrians," says Bastian Leibe, a codeveloper of ISM who is now at RWTH Aachen University. Because there is so much variability in human appearance, the algorithm takes a probabilistic approach--looking for similarities between the shapes in images and hundreds of images of pedestrians that it has been trained to recognize.

Once a pedestrian has been identified and cut from an image, the hole left behind has to be filled in. Flores's software does this by using photographs captured before and after the image in question by Google's Street View vans.

The first time that I ever saw an American city in full detail - but without any people in it - was in the 1972 movie classic The Omega Man. Charleton Heston plays the Google Street View driver in this opening scene.


(Heston drives through an empty city)

Via Technology Review.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/11/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Artificial Intelligence ")

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...' - Philip K. Dick, 1963.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.