Augmented Reality brings Google Earth to Life

Google-Earth-Augmented-RealityAlthough Google Earth is a fantastic program allowing you to quickly zoom in and out of most of the earth with an excellent amount of detail, what it still lacks is life as everything you look at is static.

A new system being tested brings real time events to Google Earth to make an augmented reality. Examples of this working could be zooming in to a road to see cars driving and pedestrians walking. The data used to generate this information actually captures the current live traffic and current locations of pedestrians to let you know how busy a certain area is. Another example allows you to zoom in to a football stadium and actually see a clip from several angles of people playing football.

Although still in it’s infancy the Google Earth Augmented Reality does have some great potential. It doesn’t show enough information to let you identify a person as often the people are represented as 3D animated stick men, but it does provide information on how busy an area is and a more real life example of Google Earth rather than the traditional stitched together still images you zoom in and out.

Where traffic is observed the system uses complex algorithms to calculate where a car would probably be in an unobserved area and then the 3D models are placed on the map according to those calculations. Also, complex junctions can be recreated with other complex algorithms.

Check out the video below to see the test in action…

Via: GizmoWatch and PopSci


  1. Erwin Sigterman says

    Is this feature also available on the Android phones?

    • No phones yet. I don’t think it’s even available out of the lab at the moment due to the mass project of having to gather all the streams of data together.

Speak Your Mind