How Google Captures 3D Images for Immersive View
How Google Captures 3D Images for Immersive View
4:52

How Google Captures 3D Images for Immersive View

Tech
Speaker 1: If I wanted to go to the San Francisco Ferry Building, I could just use a 2D Google Maps, or I could tap here and go into immersive view and get a 3D view of not just the ferry building, but everything around it, including the water, palm trees, and even these seagulls flying by. I can also see what the weather and traffic is like. Google creates these realistic digital models by combining street view footage with images taken from a 3D aerial camera, and we're about to go check out those cameras and learn more about how Google created immersive view. So let's go check it out. [00:00:30] Immersive view is Google Maps' latest flex. Instead of seeing just a ground level image of a building or a landmark like you do in Street view, immersive view features these three dimensional hyper-realistic previews of your journey. Speaker 2: So you'll go into Google Maps. Let's say you want to walk from the ferry building to the Palace of Fine Arts. You put in the Palace of Fine Arts as your destination, and then you'll see a thumbnail up here, an animated thumbnail, and you tap on that just like you do for immersive view for places you can zoom in and if you want to examine any [00:01:00] part of the route that you're interested in, Speaker 1: Instead of seeing a red line to symbolize traffic, you'll see a rendering of cars backed up to really visualize what you'll encounter. And even though it looks lifelike, these aren't real-time images. Speaker 2: It's purely simulated a re rendering of the capture. There's no live camera happening. The idea is to make it look real. It's all a digital rendering of previously captured information. Speaker 1: I saw the cameras that power Google Maps as features at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California Immersive view is created by combining images [00:01:30] captured for street view with cameras like this and overlaying them with 3D footage taken by this camera that's attached to a plane. The result is these three dimensional bird's eye views of a city or landmark. Speaker 2: These cameras have a different geometry. They're all facing towards one another, where these cameras all have the goal of being in a nice ring with a common focal center so that we can create a nice spherical image where these actually have a different goal. By creating parallax between the cameras, we can use that parallax to [00:02:00] help reconstruct the 3D geometry of the terrain in the buildings. Speaker 1: AI and computer vision help to align all the imagery and identify objects like street signs, sidewalks, and road names. When you piece it all together, you get something like this, Speaker 2: It'll show you where the turns are. You'll be able to zoom in and you get good other views. From here, you'll also be able to go into street view tilt, see what it looks like at the distance. You can see the traffic, oh, it's raining. Probably not a good time [00:02:30] to go for a bike ride. We have what's known here as the time slider. What's the sunset going to look like at 6:20 PM on that evening? Speaker 1: Google's cameras have clearly come a long way since Street View launched in 2007. Speaker 2: If you can see, we have a long history of developing cameras here and they keep getting better and more compact over time and more portable. So this is the very first one developed Forestry View. This was mounted on top of a van and we used this van [00:03:00] to drive mostly around Mountain View and San Francisco, and our first review launch actually used the imagery from this rig. Speaker 1: There are also snowmobiles bikes and what Google calls a trekker, which you wear like a backpack to capture corners of the world. You can't drive a car through. The Reer is definitely lighter than that 500 pound rig streep you started with, but I personally wouldn't want to wear it for too long. This is like my backpack to work. Google's latest street view camera is much smaller and easier to transport than its predecessors, so [00:03:30] compact by comparison compact, and it looks like a little robot, which I think is just the cutest thing. A little eyes in the arm. Speaker 2: Yeah, I think that's also, that's not by accident. Speaker 1: The 3D aerial camera used for immersive view also captures footage for Google Earth and other maps features. Speaker 2: We have very good cameras and we are able to fuse all this imagery together. But then in the current immersive view rendering, we apply advanced 3D graphics techniques such as volumetric rendering and ray tracing, and do this on [00:04:00] the cloud. Speaker 1: There are two versions of immersive view. One to explore places like landmarks and parks, which is already available. And another for previewing routes, which is rolling out starting in cities like San Francisco, New York, and London. So soon, wherever you are, you'll see an option to preview your journey like this. When you launch Google Maps and with details like those seagulls I saw flying around the ferry building, it'll all feel a lot more realistic. Speaker 2: It's about the delight and the utility, not just the utility, but we want people to go to immersive view and go, wow, that's really interesting. That's really delightful. This is a kind of a tool [00:04:30] I want to keep using in the future. Speaker 1: Immersive view is the next chapter of Google Maps, but Streetview had to walk sometimes with a trekker for immersive view to run. So give it a shot and see if you can get a new perspective of your world and be sure to give this video a thumbs up and subscribe. I have some mapping to do. I'll see you later.

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