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Low Cost Panoramic Views From 112,000 feet 43

IgorC writes "Some engineering students at Texas A&M University have just received data gathered from a low cost 6 Mpixels digital camera (a Canon PowerShot S3 IS). Via NASA balloon, the camera flew up some 36 kms for 18 hours while storing more than 1600 images. The group writes: ' We are in our preliminary result discovery phase and patched up some of these frames together to produce several panoramic views from that altitude (the camera was looking down). They are viewable on the GeoCam blog. We intend on porting that information on Google Maps and Google Earth. For those of you who are undergrads and want to do something better, the folks at HASP-LSU will have a call for participants next year in their announcement page.'"
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Low Cost Panoramic Views From 112,000 feet

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 30, 2006 @02:43AM (#16256497)
  • by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @02:51AM (#16256527) Homepage
    Auto stitch []

    These folks had some problems (they mentioned that a picture was taken every 23 seconds and in that time clouds moved enough to make stitching a pain) but for general shots, wow, great app. Takes bloody forever (and you will notice a system slow down, even if you drop the process priority to idle), even on a 4400+ system, but it's certainly faster than doing it by hand in photoshop.

    Installer is tiny too, it's not bloated like most software apps these days...

  • Yeah, and? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 30, 2006 @02:51AM (#16256529)
    Amateur... um, balloonists have been doing stuff like this for many a-year. Balloon v1.0 [] was featured on Slashdot back in 2002. Others have added put up geiger counters and even an R/C glider plane that returned to the laucnhing site.
  • by Yahma ( 1004476 ) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @03:07AM (#16256595) Journal

    Too bad this won't give Google Earth much competition. Someday in the not so distant future, satellite imagery may become real-time via low cost weather balloons. Now imagine having access to realtime satellite imagery, how much would that be worth? Using this technology, it wouldn't be so hard to get real time (or close to real time) images from the weather balloon.

    BLASTProxy [] - A anonymous Apache based proxy service to safely bypass firewall restrictions
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BrokenBeta ( 1007449 )
      That wouldn't work, would it? If you were looking at the surface of the Earth in real-time, you wouldn't be able to see half of it because of the clouds. That's why Google Earth is such a patchwork.
    • The nsa has real-time satellite imagery with very high zoom levels today.
      do'h I said to much.
  • I can see my house from there!
  • low cost eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    low cost 6 Mpixels digital camera (a Canon PowerShot S3 IS). Via NASA balloon, the camera flew up some 36 kms

    Wow! A low cost solution! So... how much did that balloon cost, and how many man-hours went into that launch?
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) on Saturday September 30, 2006 @04:25AM (#16256815) Homepage
    ... if they hadn't set the camera to use the flash.
  • Space may not be Star Trek's "final frontier," but if humanity is going to start seriously gaining a foot hold there, it will be through private enterprise, not the Enterprise.
  • Faked (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 30, 2006 @07:30AM (#16257385)
    Did anyone notice how much these images of "Texas" resemble the images recently captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter []? All they did was add some "clouds" and a few "roads" (obviously Photoshopped in at the last minute). This is just another example of the ongoing NASA conspiracy to convince Americans that there is intelligent life in Texas.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman