April 10, 2013
Hyperlapse Video Treatment Turns Google Street View Into Something More
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Google Street View has become a fascination for some and a convenience for others. For creative firm Teehan+Lax Labs it may have become both. The firm has strung miles of Street Views together to create Google Street View Hyperlapse. Hyperlapse puts Street View images together so it appears to be a time-lapse video driving down a road.
The lab created a handful of routes. Most are very scenic. One goes over the Golden Gate Bridge, and through surrounding areas of San Francisco. Another explores the Australian Outback. Another route, called Saskatchewan Cloud, shows a strip of the Trans-Canada Highway.
You can also create your own Hyperlapse route. Of course there's no trippy music. But you can use the Hyperlapse to show someone your commute to work, or take a virtual drive across the country.
To set your own route you can type in an address, city or country in the search box to find your starting point, then drag points A and B to your start and end points on the map. You can also set up a focal point where the Hyperlapse video will pay more attention to all the Street View angles.
Hyperlapse is more of a tech demo and serves no real functional purpose; however, it is entertaining. It's easy to get sucked into watching the created routes, or determine your own routes and see where Street View takes you. Labs is also willing to share its application so others can advance it further.
The engine was built with Hyperlapse.js, Three.js (r57), a modified version of GSVPano.js, and Google Maps API v3. For those who don't want to play around with the engine, but just create a route and see the images, Labs notes that the site requires WebGL and is best viewed in Google Chrome, and on a decent machine.
Google added Street View to its Google Maps and Google Earth in 2007. Street View is constructed of images taken by 360-degree view cameras that capture the view from the street going forward, backward, left and right. As with most Google code, Street View is open source, and therefore Google invites developers to use the SDK kit to create applications that use Google Maps and Google Street View for interesting purposes.