From the description of the above video at PopSci:
Using nearly half a million Flickr photos of Rome, Venice, and the Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik, a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington’s Graphics and Imaging Laboratory assembled digital models of the three cities in 3-D… Each video includes clusters of small diamond shapes, which represent each photographer and his or her vantage point. The team built a new algorithm that proceeds in two steps — first, by matching the photos by what they had in common, puzzle-style, and then by determining the scene and each photographer’s pose.
I wonder if Regina Bittner has seen this. It immediately made me think of this article she wrote for Volume Magazine. This isn’t a model of Dubrovnik, it is a model of our collected visual record of that city – which is far more interesting, in my opinion. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this model was constantly accessible through an iphone app? And constantly updated? (Kind of like this). You’re walking around the city, and decide that one of your favorite nooks is lacking in detail, so you snap some extra pictures. Upload them to flickr and tag them. A few extra polygons further define the model, the crowd-sourced 3-dimensional map developing in real-time. How many false images would it take to hack the model? Citizen activists or a private developer pushing for a future project decide to show their vision to the world, and upload thousands of computer renderings photo-montaged into photographs of the existing site, the new geometry competing with the old, our memories mingling with our aspirations.