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Google docs its Street View cameras to better reference the worldGoogle docs its Street View cameras to better reference the world

by sella (follow)

The new image capture platform for Street View cars. - Wired

The old cameras of the cartography service give way to a new, more compact device that produces better quality pictures. The objective is an advanced indexation of our daily environment.

It's a small revolution for Street View, and it's welcome. To put it mildly, it is even amazing that the Mountain View giant is so much awaited. Since the launch of the service in 2007, the platform for capturing images of its vehicles had remained almost unchanged - an update of the cameras had taken place in 2009, that is to say an eternity. Place to a brand new equipment.

To put our environment to 360 degrees, Google used until then a device with a big ball sheltering 15 cameras. The new blue and black system has a less massive appearance as it contains only seven devices and as many lenses assembled in a circle.


Further down on the black axis that supports it vertically, there are still two additional HD cameras on each side of the vehicle. They are there to capture images closer to buildings and traffic signs. Finally, there are lasers to help the driver position himself in the environment. Google told Wired that this equipment would make it possible to take pictures clearer, better resolution and with more vivid colors. It was developed by Steve Silverman, who developed goals for NASA rovers sent on Mars.

Street View takes advantage of advances in artificial intelligence

But the improvement of the images is not only to offer us a representation of the world more pleasing to the eye. This technological change must also serve, first, to enrich the information recorded by the cars of Street View and accelerate, second, the processing of the images by an artificial intelligence of Google. It is now capable of detecting on the spot - almost in real time - the written entries like the names of the signs. It records them, label them and then automatically sends them to the firm's databases. Previously, this treatment was performed after the event.

Once in the data centers of Google, its information from the real world can be used to carry out research always more sharp. In other words, with these new Street View cars, Google is in the process of indexing the real world to make it "searchable" through its tools and services.

All of this data will help Google Google to answer more advanced questions asked through Google Search or Wizard. Like: "What is the name of the pink shop next to the church on the corner? ". Street View will therefore have to store increasingly rich and detailed information. The system is constantly being trained to recognize new abbreviations such as AV for avenue but also trade names. The next step will be to automatically determine each type of sign based on its storefront and hours of operation.

To enrich its databases and images of the real world, Google also now counts on the contribution of everyone thanks to the democratization of the 360 ​​cameras. It even began this summer to certify some of these devices with the label Street View ready. Users of these cameras can upload their panorama via the Street View mobile app, which helps increase the level of detail Google owns for a specific location.
The US giant is counting on crowdsourcing to ensure that the world's representation in its databases is as up-to-date as possible. "People think Google has indexed the world," says Charles Amstrong, product manager of Street View, in Wired. "But expectations are never met," he continues.

With these new cameras, the progress made in the field of artificial intelligence and the increase in the number of labels (and therefore of identified data) taken from the "photos" Street View, Google is referencing the whole world, an additional wall between its realm of bits and our daily atoms






The new image capture platform for Street View cars. - Wired

The old cameras of the cartography service give way to a new, more compact device that produces better quality pictures. The objective is an advanced indexation of our daily environment.

It's a small revolution for Street View, and it's welcome. To put it mildly, it is even amazing that the Mountain View giant is so much awaited. Since the launch of the service in 2007, the platform for capturing images of its vehicles had remained almost unchanged - an update of the cameras had taken place in 2009, that is to say an eternity. Place to a brand new equipment.

To put our environment to 360 degrees, Google used until then a device with a big ball sheltering 15 cameras. The new blue and black system has a less massive appearance as it contains only seven devices and as many lenses assembled in a circle.



Further down on the black axis that supports it vertically, there are still two additional HD cameras on each side of the vehicle. They are there to capture images closer to buildings and traffic signs. Finally, there are lasers to help the driver position himself in the environment. Google told Wired that this equipment would make it possible to take pictures clearer, better resolution and with more vivid colors. It was developed by Steve Silverman, who developed goals for NASA rovers sent on Mars.

Street View takes advantage of advances in artificial intelligence

But the improvement of the images is not only to offer us a representation of the world more pleasing to the eye. This technological change must also serve, first, to enrich the information recorded by the cars of Street View and accelerate, second, the processing of the images by an artificial intelligence of Google. It is now capable of detecting on the spot - almost in real time - the written entries like the names of the signs. It records them, label them and then automatically sends them to the firm's databases. Previously, this treatment was performed after the event.

Once in the data centers of Google, its information from the real world can be used to carry out research always more sharp. In other words, with these new Street View cars, Google is in the process of indexing the real world to make it "searchable" through its tools and services.

All of this data will help Google Google to answer more advanced questions asked through Google Search or Wizard. Like: "What is the name of the pink shop next to the church on the corner? ". Street View will therefore have to store increasingly rich and detailed information. The system is constantly being trained to recognize new abbreviations such as AV for avenue but also trade names. The next step will be to automatically determine each type of sign based on its storefront and hours of operation.

To enrich its databases and images of the real world, Google also now counts on the contribution of everyone thanks to the democratization of the 360 ​​cameras. It even began this summer to certify some of these devices with the label Street View ready. Users of these cameras can upload their panorama via the Street View mobile app, which helps increase the level of detail Google owns for a specific location.
The US giant is counting on crowdsourcing to ensure that the world's representation in its databases is as up-to-date as possible. "People think Google has indexed the world," says Charles Amstrong, product manager of Street View, in Wired. "But expectations are never met," he continues.

With these new cameras, the progress made in the field of artificial intelligence and the increase in the number of labels (and therefore of identified data) taken from the "photos" Street View, Google is referencing the whole world, an additional wall between its realm of bits and our daily atoms
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