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CSE’s GRAIL Group and Google turn online photos into time-lapse videos

Time-lapse skyscraper imagesCSE graduate student Ricardo Martin Brualla and professor Steve Seitz, in collaboration with David Gallup of Google, have pioneered a new method for creating time-lapse videos of popular or historically significant landmarks from the millions of photos posted online.

Using a process they call “time-lapse mining,” the researchers sorted photos of a particular location by date and devised a method of compensating for differences in camera position and lighting quality. By warping the photos to a common viewpoint and stabilizing their appearance, they were able to create high-quality videos of the world’s most photographed sites. From skyscrapers rising to glaciers receding, the team provides dramatic examples of how the vast collection of photos uploaded to the internet can be used to understand how our surroundings have changed over time.

The team will present its findings at SIGGRAPH 2015 in August. Visit the project page to view a video demonstration here, and read a PDF of the research paper here.

Read more about time-lapse mining and view videos in the Washington Post, CNET, Gizmodo, Engadget, The Verge, and Quartz.