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3-D Maps Without the Glasses

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Students at Washington University in St. Louis' Media and Machines Lab have developed Project Live3D, an Internet application that uses webcams from around the world and Google Earth scenes to create real-time images of international locations in three dimensions.

Project Live3D has identified more than 17,000 webcams worldwide and added them to its database. Users drag around a two-dimensional (2-D) point and place it at a known location on the original image to execute the process of matching 2-D images to the 3-D world.

The students also are developing the Archive of Many Outdoor Scenes, which features a collection of more than 1,000 webcams, including an array of outdoor scenes. "What motivated this project was that we wanted to attach some geography to webcams," says doctoral student Austin Abrams.

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