Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eye of the beholder

It is interesting what technology can do and even more interesting what technology can uncover ... if you look hard enough. There is a website that chronicles photos that were extracted from Google Street View. This is one of those images:

Morrone Del Sannio, Italy
Google Street View, for those who don't know, is a tool that takes 360-degree images at about 10-metre intervals. From those images, they are synchronised with Google Maps so that you are able to navigate the photos in something approaching a virtual world. The fact that photos such as this can be extracted is amazing.

It still takes a human to define what is aesthetically pleasing, but even this can be taught to a computer, given enough parameters of what is pretty. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Technology allows us to travel to places we can only dream of going to. We are able to travel thousands of miles with nothing more than a double-click. We can gain a greater understanding of what it would be like to be in this part of the world but, of course, nothing beats experiencing it for real.