Bye bye SLR
This weekend I decided to get rid of my Olympus SLR Camera and get something more mobile. Some major reasons for this:
– My back sucks. Carrying lenses etc is just too much.
– Honestly, I never really got into the SLR-thing. I always forget the P/M/EV stuff and go fully automatic.
– It has no GPS and compass – useless for FME.
A new direction – not only GPS !
Look at me now! I got the HX7V from Sony.
Why? It has a built in GPS and a digital compass!!! Dude!!! (It’s also pretty cheapish).
The sweet little thing records both location and direction in the EXIF-tags for each picture. (And yes it consumes a lot of the built in battery. That is a small price for feeling like owning your own streetview device).
First test in the garden
The first test took place in my garden. I switched on the camera with GPS on and it picked up a position pretty fast. I then took some pictures while turning 360 degrees around. And then transferred the pics to my computer with FME installed.
FME reads all these EXIF-tags in jpeg-files.
I then was prepared for some Python hacking but (sadly?) I did not need to. Turns out FME reads the EXIF-tags with the encoded information I was looking for:
In a few minutes I had created a workbench that:
* Reads the jpgs and extract the position and direction for the picture throught the Exif-tags.
* Reprojects to meters and creates 3D-planes for the different pictures.
* Writes out Google Earth KMZ files thus creating a 3D-panorama.
* (Also some other stuff as calculating decimal degrees and offsetting the focal distance).
The workbench creates a KMZ-file that looks like this in Google Earth:
I bet there are tons of hacks that could do similar things out there. However – I clearly doubt that there is any GUI in the world that could do all this in just some minutes and one workflow. It’s just awesome. And I can write this to many other formats and make tons of other stuff.
FME Rocks! (And also HX7V from Sony.)
-Post a comment if you would like the entire KMZ etc. It’s pretty big as the pics are hires.