Augmented Google Earth Gets Real-Time People, Cars, Clouds

Real-Time Cars in Google Earth

courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology

Researchers from Georgia Tech have devised methods to take real-time, real-world information and layer it onto Google Earth, adding dynamic information to the previously sterile Googlescape.

They use live video feeds (sometimes from many angles) to find the position and motion of various objects, which they then combine with behavioral simulations to produce real-time animations for Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth.

They use motion capture data to help their animated humans move realistically, and were able to extrapolate cars' motion throughout an entire stretch of road from just a few spotty camera angles.

From their video of an augmented virtual Earth, you can see if the pickup soccer game in the park is short a player, how traffic is on the highway, and how fast the wind is blowing the clouds across the sky.

Up next, they say they want to add weather, birds, and motion in rivers.

They will present their paper at the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality next month, but you can read a draft PDF here.