If you’ve ever tried to take a panorama photo using your phone or camera, sometimes you end up with some weird and distorted images. It could be either you moved too quickly while panning your camera, or the stitching algorithm could be messed up, or an object entered the frame while you were shooting.
Either way sometimes weird panoramas are just part of the process, but this is something that Google wants to fix with Street View. The company has announced that they will be applying a new algorithm to its Street View panoramas based on “optical flow” that will hopefully result in panoramas that look better without weird, distorted effects.
According to Google, “The idea is to subtly warp each input image such that the image content lines up within regions of overlap. This needs to be done carefully to avoid introducing new types of visual artifacts. The approach must also be robust to varying scene geometry, lighting conditions, calibration quality, and many other conditions.”
So far it seems that based on the sample images and also in the video above that Google has been somewhat successful with their attempts. If you’re someone who uses Street View regularly, or if you use it together with virtual reality, hopefully the changes will result in a less jarring experience.
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