Speaker Robert Pless
Affiliation Washington University in St. Louis
Host Andrew Fitzgibbon
Date recorded 18 June 2013
The web has an enormous collection of live cameras view image parks, roads, cities, beaches, mountains, ski-resorts, buildings and more. Over the last 5 years, I have been archiving imagery from most (22000) publically available outdoor cameras, and working to understand how to effectively use this massively distributed resource as a tool for phenology, environmental, atmospheric and social measurement. Our approaches to analyzing this data set are inspired by a combination of time-lapse video artists Jason Salavon and Hiroshi Sugimoto and work to characterize the statistical invariants in images of natural scenes. I will talk about algorithms for automatically geo-locating, calibrating and inferring 3D scene structure from outdoor time-lapse imagery, interfaces to integrate the webcams with Google Earth and strategies that we have developed to visualize and categorize this data archive. I will conclude by describing early work that uses webcam data to evaluate satellite estimates of the spring green-up time of trees in North America and the potential for smart phone apps to allow citizen scientists to capture more calibrated and directed imagery.
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