Saturday, July 20, 2013

Agog at Google

On June 5, 2013, the Google car cruised through Centerpointe, as I described in this post.  As of today, we still don't have an updated Streetview photo set, but a curious thing appears to have happened in the intervening time:
Google seems to have re-processed its older images.  The sharpness, contrast, and saturation all appear enhanced now. 

West Walker at Centerpointe Drive.  Construction of Centerpointe Section 9 (shown as the empty field at left) had not commenced at the time this photo was taken, estimated to be 2008 or 2009.

Screengrabbed from Googlemaps Streetview. 
Here for comparison is the same screengrab from June 5, 2013.  Note the more fuzzy appearance. 
Why would Google go to the immense trouble of image-processing all the data that it will soon discard in favor of an updated set?  I suspect it has something to do with quality control and feature-matching, which perhaps will be made easier by superior historical image quality, no matter how obsolete it may be by this time.  And what (if anything) this procedure might have to do with Google's driverless car initiative is anyone's guess, but it's fascinating to watch this technology unfold. 

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