400 laps around the Earth: in Google told me how to create ‘Maps’

The Street View mode, through which users can view pictures of city streets and landscapes from all over the world, has 16 million km of panoramic views. This distance is equal to 400 full circles around the Earth. About it writes RBC.

400 кругов вокруг Земли: в Google рассказали как создаются 'Карты'

Photo: Depositphotos

Images on Google maps are taken not only because of the cars driving around various locations. The collection of images is a difficult task which may take from several days to several weeks. The process involves a fleet of cars equipped with nine cameras which can shoot in high definition and from any point. These cameras are athermal, that is, can operate in extreme temperatures — and in the midst of the summer heat in death Valley, and in the cold of winter in the snowy mountains of Nepal.

Every fotomobil Street View is associated with its own center of photography and is equipped with lidars, which use laser guidance for accurate measurement of distance to objects.

In addition to the four-wheeled car, there are backpacks trackers Street View, which are fixed on boats and sheep and camel spins — Yes, flocks of sheep and camels is also involved in the collection of the panoramic views that users enjoy mobile devices and desktop computers.

Only in 2019 from Street View by the efforts of the community and contractors to Google Maps to add seven million buildings in Armenia, Lebanon, Myanmar, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe and Bermuda.

The resulting photos are processed in the technique of photogrammetry to align and combine a set of images. Thus in the panorama appear the most important elements of the road layout, buildings, rivers, besides in the pictures is the exact distance between objects. All this information is collected in offline mode without the need of human presence.

The method of photogrammetry is not new, it originated in the early twentieth century, but Google’s approach to it unique. In fact, Street View is a giant puzzle, spanning the entire globe. For 10 years, the technique of photogrammetry in Google has been improved so that it is now able to a meter to align the images from multiple sources: Street View, aerial imagery and satellite photographs.

The Street View project was created by Google co-founder Larry page, who proposed the idea in 2004. His plan was to create a 360-degree map of the world that would “walk” the streets, highways, mountains and attractions around the world without leaving home.