Friday, 8 February 2008

Satellite Images for Palmerston North

Last week I drove past Palmerston North and had a look at my old house, or at least where it used to be. Now it's a memory replaced by a new subdivision. To be honest it was quite a shock. With most of the old landmarks gone I couldn't even tell exactly where my house had been.

I wanted to see what had happened so I had a look at the Palmerston North map for clues. I knew the images wouldn't be completely current so I might be able to see an earlier stage of the subdivision development.

The first good news, which is really what I'm reporting here, is that the satellite images for Palmerston North have been updated since last time I checked and they are much better. I don't know when they were updated or how current they are - all I can say is that the images are definitely less than 5 years old but older than the newest part of the James Line subdivision. I had a quick look around the city and it was great. Lots of memories from my time living there. If anyone who still lives there can tell me how old the images are I'd be grateful.

As for my house, it's still there on the Google map - here's the link. The photo seems to have been taken just before the subdivision reached my house, so it's still very different to when I lived there in the middle of a paddock.

I'm rapt that I did this before the images update again. Now I have a permanent record of exactly where my house stood, so when Google's images do eventually update I'll always know exactly where the house was.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

3D Video

This afternoon Marc Dawson brought round some anaglyphic footage he shot in the South island last year. I'm trying it out to see how it will look on the web. I'm using the H.264 codec which looks promising, but the quality of the resulting footage isn't where we need it to be just yet.

Anaglyphic video for the web is quite challenging as the common compression codecs tend to kill the 3-D effect and introduce nasty artifacts. I'm hoping to keep experimenting with this throughout the year and see if I can nail a system that does the footage justice.

The new video page is taking shape here.

New Home Page for 3DNZ

A couple of days ago I overhauled the home page of 3dnewzealand.com. Previously the home page was where the main map was located, which was fine if that's what you came here for but a waste of time if you were looking for something else. I decided to give the maps & satellite images an area of their own and make the home page more of a portal like it should be. The home page map was an experiment that didn't work out, basically.

At the moment the site is pretty much divided into two areas: The maps/satellite images and the 3D photos. Very soon I'll be adding an experimental video section. After that I'll try and publish some more 360-degree panoramas and make them more accessible.