Category Archives: cartography

Merging virtual and real with handphones

I once saw a HP ad where a boy, armed with a handheld console with a camera, runs around a city playing a game on the handheld. The locations in the game correspond to the boy’s current real-world location, but with obstacles and challenges. So an innocent looking alley in the real world turns into a deathtrap in the game world, with a virtual boulder coming down towards you (like in Raiders of the Lost Ark)

I love the idea of blurring the lines between the real and the virtual, and I thought then: “why do you need a separate device? Almost everyone already carries a camera handphone these days.”

Wish some Singaporeans followed up on this idea before the Scots did.

“It’s about using a camera phone as a magic wand,” said Dr Mark Wright of the Division of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh who came up with the idea.

At the heart of Spellbinder, as the project is known, is a database of all the places that participants have added data to. People query it by taking a snap of a location with their phone then using multimedia text messages to send it to Spellbinder.

Dr Wright said powerful image-matching algorithms are used to analyse the image that can deal with snaps of the same place being taken under different lighting conditions or orientations.

Once Spellbinder has worked out the location of an image it consults the database and sends back an image with the extras added to it. (read full article)

(from Networked Performance)

Advertisements

Randomness #54x

Still alive! Too much working and reading, not enough writing.

– All the cool stuff happens after I leave. Chicago now has a Festival of Maps. That’s a small version of a 17th century Map of the Nile on the site. Big version here.

– Detailed satellite surveys show that Angkor was probably as big as modern-day LA, adding credence to theories that people eventually deserted the city because its surrounding environment couldn’t sustain it.

– If you’re too lazy to search for clips of the Helvetica documentary on YouTube (like me), World of Kane kindly provides a selection.

– Radar finds out how desperate some folks in Second Life are for virtual sex (Funny, but NSFW photos):

Radarette: Very good! Ready for something a little … HARDER?

Student: Yep.

Radarette: Haretown and Tortoiseville are 50 miles apart. A hare travels at nine miles per hour from Haretown to Tortoiseville, while a tortoise travels at one mile per hour from Tortoiseville to Haretown. If both set out at the same time, how many miles will the hare have to travel before meeting the tortoise en route?

– Speaking of sex, The 50 Greatest Sex Scenes in Cinema

– The 12 Sins of Chopstick Use (in Mandarin script)

Tibetan-inspired Chinese typography