Blog: Secrets from the Chef

Interface to the past

Denis KortunovAuthor: Denis Kortunov
24 September 2008

Many people fail to differentiate between a GPS receiver and a navigator but it seems to me that the scope of application for the global positioning is much wider. If you fit a GPS module into simple and utilitarian things, you may create new and surprisingly useful possibilities. And if you through in the Internet and add some social networks ad gustum — the impossible becomes real.

Bad are the data that forget their roots.

For example Flickr stores a lot of information inside every picture: time, date, camera settings, etc. Also, each picture can hold coordinates of the shooting site — a geotag. If the pictures are available for the public use, you can easily see what happened on a certain day in a certain place. It is true that many people are too lazy to mark the location.

Samara on picturesThis is how Samara appears on pictures. So far there are just a few pictures of our city available.

What if we build in GPS receivers into every camera? Millions of pictures from all over the World would leave a snapshot of each day. How much stats could be generated from it — contemporary search engines would weep in the corner.

Pictures are fine; this is at least somewhat fathomable. But what if we equip every camcorder with a GPS?! So that every 5 seconds the location’s coordinates get recorded. Then a cameraman would post its video on the web (on one of the videohosts) and voila.

GPS Сamcorder

What do we get? It is merely an interface to the past! We can see what happened in a particular street in a particular moment in time from different angles, at different resolutions and with people’s commentary.

We are not done yet. The image recognition techniques are being developed at insane rates. What if we hallow them to this video streams?! We will get a virtual space but not a banal 3D version of it. No. It will be 4D, since we will be able to travel in time. And what if you wear a GPS watch from birth? One could rewind his all life at leisure. Sounds cool?!

The future is bright!

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