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Redrobes
10-13-2011, 09:23 AM
Making the news rounds this morning is that Google has an experimental WebGL interface to the normal google maps. I have said that WebGL will make a big dent in maps and this is the first of them I expect.

So whats this all about ? If you have Firefox 6 or more and have turned on WebGL or have Chrome 14+ or Safari then you can do WebGL. In google there is a box appearing today saying "Want to try something new ?". If you hit that and go to the try WebGL then it might allow you to do so. Once enabled then you get some extra features.

a) Its faster with smoother scrolling and updates.
b) Its supposed to do the street view in web gl instead of flash

also from quite recently google maps have done a 45 degree city view.

c) In sat view and in certain locations that have been covered and when you are zoomed in enough, you can get sat view with 45 degree ISO style buildings. You can change the view direction to the cardinals and if on maps instead of satellite then you get the 3D buildings like in Google Earth.

So try it if you can. Im not seeing a huge difference but then I am on XP where it says you need Vista or 7, linux or some Mac OS's. And maybe my FF is not the dev 8 stream instead of 6. Heck I am not sure what I am supposed to see since mine is pretty fast anyways. But see what you get and post if you do get some differences.

torstan
10-13-2011, 10:58 AM
I'm seeing the nice animated building wireframes in NYC, but no 45 degree view here. However the colisseum in Rome is a really good showcase example for that (you need to be in satellite view to see it). Looks great!

Redrobes
10-13-2011, 12:29 PM
Im seeing the 45 deg views too but then I see them in classic mode as well. From the screenie of it running WebGL tho I can see that the posted pic seems to have a view direction which is not limited to the cardinal points. At least in classic mode you can view from any of the 4 compass directions but not in between. I was guessing that the views are 3D models with textures and that in classic mode they are pre-rendered and streamed out like the map but maybe in WebGL they are sent as vector models and textures for it, more like google earth. Dunno.

In my classic mode I still have a zoom slider with no notches on it so that I can zoom to any amount and it will scale up to a varying amount. It used to be fixed zoom to a set of about 15 levels. Now with WebGL they are saying it has better transitions but mine is very much clunky (same as classic) so I think I am not getting the full experience even tho I get the tick box saying I am in WebGL mode. Dunno, anyway as Firefox gets more WebGL aware then I am sure it will get these features.

Redrobes
10-16-2011, 10:23 AM
Another google WebGL app today to do with maps. Real time google plus activity.

http://www.gplusglobe.com/

Hai-Etlik
10-17-2011, 04:14 AM
Someone else is working in a similar globe: http://data.webglearth.com/ This one supports using WMS and similar services as a texture source.

Redrobes
10-17-2011, 06:04 AM
Nice one. Its a bit buggy for me at this stage but its going in the right direction. An app like this where you can put your own custom world into it would be very cool.

Hai-Etlik
10-17-2011, 09:28 AM
Nice one. Its a bit buggy for me at this stage but its going in the right direction. An app like this where you can put your own custom world into it would be very cool.

Actually you can, if you set it up as a WMS or TMS.

Redrobes
04-05-2012, 03:32 PM
Nokia maps in WebGL. I like the 3D-ness of it. If your in New York then downtown Manhattan is a fun place to fly around. Prob because few people know about it at this point its quite nippy.

http://maps3d.svc.nokia.com/webgl/index.html

torstan
04-05-2012, 03:51 PM
That's staggeringly good. I love the modeling on the Statue of Liberty too. Someone's put an amazing amount of time and effort into that.

Hai-Etlik
04-05-2012, 07:05 PM
That's staggeringly good. I love the modeling on the Statue of Liberty too. Someone's put an amazing amount of time and effort into that.

I think it was done computationally from multiple air photos. There are algorithms for generating geometry from a collection of photos from different angles.

Redrobes
04-06-2012, 10:39 AM
Yeah I think Ravs posted a link up a few months back about Saab's terrain scanning system which had some details about it. Basically as I recall, its done with an array of quality digital cameras on a plane and the images are compared to get depth info. I think the bit I was impressed with tho is the way Saab were then classifying the results - as in this is a tree, this is a building, this is a beach etc. From there I assume that corners of buildings near to 90deg were fixed up. If you fly over NY and near to ground zero at the wharf of Manhattan then you can see trees where they are blobby with no undercuts to them. Thats a dead giveaway that it was scanned. Could be done with LIDAR but I expect it was from multiple photos since you get nice texture maps for the sides of the buildings. The proof would be if there was something temporal in the terrain that was moving but yet still in 3D and textured. That would mean the 3D and the color texture were done at the same time.

BTW if anyone is interested in playing with terrain reconstruction from multiple photos then my blog here has an instructional about it using free tools. The results are not great tho at this point. I think Saab have done a somewhat ;) better job of it.

Edit2: Oh, Just went to the outerra forums where I posted about this as well a long while back and someone there was saying that it was Nokia that was using this data so I guess this is from the Saab scanning system. For anyone without a GL browser, heres what were talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHUbhgsimDs