1University of Washington 2Google Inc.
We introduce an approach for synthesizing time-lapse videos of popular landmarks from large community photo collections. The approach is completely automated and leverages the vast quantity of photos available online. First, we cluster 86 million photos into landmarks and popular viewpoints. Then, we sort the photos by date and warp each photo onto a common viewpoint. Finally, we stabilize the appearance of the sequence to compensate for lighting effects and minimize flicker. Our resulting time-lapses show diverse changes in the world's most popular sites, like glaciers shrinking, skyscrapers being constructed, and waterfalls changing course.
Interview at WIRED.
Reproduced photos under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic from Flickr users: Aliento Más Allá, jirihnidek, mcxurxo, elka_cz, Daikrieg and Free the Image. Reproduced photos under permission from Flickr user dration, Nadav Tobias, Klaus Wißkirchen and Juan Jesús Orío.