Wednesday, April 7, 2010

3D, Or Not 3D

The current 3D virus that's infected movies and television has now spread to the internet. Today I went to Google Maps to get directions, and I accidentally clicked on Street View. While there, I noticed something new: in the upper left corner was an icon of a cartoon guy wearing 3D glasses. "No, it can't be," I thought. "They wouldn't. They couldn't!" I clicked on the little icon, and sure enough, Street View switched from 2D to anaglyph 3D. You know, the kind that requires the glasses with the red and blue lenses.

Holee. Crap. Google Street View is now in 3D. That's my house there, in glorious three dimensions. We truly live in a wondrous, if mystifying age.

I have no idea when this feature was added, but I'm assuming it was very recently. I hunted up a pair of 3D glasses and was surprised to see that it doesn't look that bad. I think it's totally unnecessary, but that's never stopped Google before.

How they're doing this, I have no idea. 3D requires two separate images from slightly different angles. Have the Street View cameras been taking two pictures of everything from day one? Or are they doing this with some kind of 3D conversion software?

Next month I'm fully expecting them to add Google Sound and Google Smell to Street View as well.

UPDATE: Hmm. As of this morning (April 8, 2010), the 3D option is gone. I'm not seeing the little yellow guy with glasses anymore. Maybe it was just a test that I stumbled onto?

It really was an option for a week or so! I have witnesses!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Thanks to Gretchen for pointing out that the 3D view is still there. If you right click on the image a popup menu appears, listing 3D as an option.

2 comments:

  1. It's still there. Right click on the image, it will be in the popup menu

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, you're right! I totally missed that. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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