Sunday, January 22, 2006

GoogleMapping War

"Imagine if the first soldiers to enter an enemy city could map it street by street, recording every window and doorway of the urban battlefield in an accurate 3D model that could instantly be relayed to their comrades at base."
What you've just imagined is called virtualized reality, and it's nothing less than "the speedy way to capture a city," says New Scientist.

"Virtualised reality scans the urban landscape using lasers and digital cameras mounted on a truck or plane. A laser measures distances to objects such as lamp posts and building facades, while the digital camera takes 2D photos. Another laser calculates the movement of the truck and checks its position against data collected from the aerial laser aboard the plane. These measurements and pictures are fed into a computer that combines them to create a photo-realistic virtual 3D model of the area."
You can then invade.
Or are you feeling less aggressive? Well, the same technologies can also help you "navigate through strange cities" – whatever those may be. San Francisco? Pyongyang? "Urban planners," meanwhile, "could even look at a series of models collected over time to see how the layout of their city has evolved."
They could then invade.


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