Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Carnegie Mellon researchers build time machine to visually explore space and time

April 22, 2011
Time-lapse GigaPans provide new way to access big data

PITTSBURGH-Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute have leveraged the latest browser technology to create GigaPan Time Machine, a system that enables viewers to explore gigapixel-scale, high-resolution videos and image sequences by panning or zooming in and out of the images while simultaneously moving back and forth through time.

Viewers, for instance, can use the system to focus in on the details of a booth within a panorama of a carnival midway, but also reverse time to see how the booth was constructed. Or they can watch a group of plants sprout, grow and flower, shifting perspective to watch some plants move wildly as they grow while others get eaten by caterpillars. Or, they can view a computer simulation of the early universe, watching as gravity works across 600 million light-years to condense matter into filaments and finally into stars that can be seen by zooming in for a close up.

"With GigaPan Time Machine, you can simultaneously explore space and time at extremely high resolutions," said Illah Nourbakhsh, associate professor of robotics and head of the CREATE Lab. "Science has always been about narrowing your point of view - selecting a particular experiment or observation that you think might provide insight. But this system enables what we call exhaustive science, capturing huge amounts of data that can then be explored in amazing ways."

The system is an extension of the GigaPan technology developed by the CREATE Lab and NASA, which can capture a mosaic of hundreds or thousands of digital pictures and stitch those frames into a panorama that be interactively explored via computer. To extend GigaPan into the time dimension, image mosaics are repeatedly captured at set intervals, and then stitched across both space and time to create a video in which each frame can be hundreds of millions, or even billions of pixels.

An enabling technology for time-lapse GigaPans is a feature of the HTML5 language that has been incorporated into such browsers as Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. HTML5, the latest revision of the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) standard that is at the core of the Internet, makes browsers capable of presenting video content without use of plug-ins such as Adobe Flash or Quicktime.

Using HTML5, CREATE Lab computer scientists Randy Sargent, Chris Bartley and Paul Dille developed algorithms and software architecture that make it possible to shift seamlessly from one video portion to another as viewers zoom in and out of Time Machine imagery. To keep bandwidth manageable, the GigaPan site streams only those video fragments that pertain to the segment and/or time frame being viewed.

"We were crashing the browsers early on," Sargent recalled. "We're really pushing the browser technology to the limits."

Guidelines on how individuals can capture time-lapse images using GigaPan cameras are included on the site created for hosting the new imagery's large data files, http://timemachine.gigapan.org. Sargent explained the CREATE Lab is eager to work with people who want to capture Time Machine imagery with GigaPan, or use the visualization technology for other applications.

Once a Time Machine GigaPan has been created, viewers can annotate and save their explorations of it in the form of video "Time Warps."

Though the time-lapse mode is an extension of the original GigaPan concept, scientists already are applying the visualization techniques to other types of Big Data. Carnegie Mellon's Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology, for instance, has used it to visualize a simulation of the early universe performed at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center by Tiziana Di Matteo, associate professor of physics.

"Simulations are a huge bunch of numbers, ugly numbers," Di Matteo said. "Visualizing even a portion of a simulation requires a huge amount of computing itself." Visualization of these large data sets is crucial to the science, however. "Discoveries often come from just looking at it," she explained.

Rupert Croft, associate professor of physics, said cosmological simulations are so massive that only a segment can be visualized at a time using usual techniques. Yet whatever is happening within that segment is being affected by forces elsewhere in the simulation that cannot be readily accessed. By converting the entire simulation into a time-lapse GigaPan, however, Croft and his Ph.D. student, Yu Feng, were able to create an image that provided both the big picture of what was happening in the early universe and the ability to look in detail at any region of interest.

Using a conventional GigaPan camera, Janet Steven, an assistant professor of biology at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, has created time-lapse imagery of rapid-growing brassicas, known as Wisconsin Fast Plants. "This is such an incredible tool for plant biology," she said. "It gives you the advantage of observing individual plants, groups of plants and parts of plants, all at once."

Steven, who has received GigaPan training through the Fine Outreach for Science program, said time-lapse photography has long been used in biology, but the GigaPan technology makes it possible to observe a number of plants in detail without having separate cameras for each plant. Even as one plant is studied in detail, it's possible to also see what neighboring plants are doing and how that might affect the subject plant, she added.

Steven said creating time-lapse GigaPans of entire landscapes could be a powerful tool for studying seasonal change in plants and ecosystems, an area of increasing interest for understanding climate change. Time-lapse GigaPan imagery of biological experiments also could be an educational tool, allowing students to make independent observations and develop their own hypotheses.

Carnegie Mellon University


Related High-resolution Video Current Events and High-resolution Video News Articles


New Study Reveals the Biomechanics of How Marine Snail Larvae Swim
Equipped with high-speed, high-resolution video, scientists have discovered important new information on how marine snail larvae swim, a key behavior that determines individual dispersal and ultimately, survival.

Nanocables light way to the future
Cables made of carbon nanotubes are inching toward electrical conductivities seen in metal wires, and that may light up interest among a range of industries, according to Rice University researchers.

Speed installation of system to monitor vital signs of global ocean, scientists urge
The ocean surface is 30 percent more acidic today than it was in 1800, much of that increase occurring in the last 50 years - a rising trend that could both harm coral reefs and profoundly impact tiny shelled plankton at the base of the ocean food web, scientists warn.

Brown University-led team discovers how bats avoid collisions
For years, Brown University neuroscientist James Simmons has filmed bats as they flew in packs or individually chased prey in thick foliage. All the while, he asked himself why the bats never collided with objects in their paths or with each other.

NYU physicists find way to explore microscopic systems through holographic video
Physicists at New York University have developed a technique to record three-dimensional movies of microscopic systems, such as biological molecules, through holographic video.

Seamounts may serve as refuges for deep-sea animals that struggle to survive elsewhere
Over the last two decades, marine biologists have discovered lush forests of deep-sea corals and sponges growing on seamounts (underwater mountains) offshore of the California coast. It has generally been assumed that many of these animals live only on seamounts, and are found nowhere else.
More High-resolution Video Current Events and High-resolution Video News Articles

The Kaguya Lunar Atlas: The Moon in High Resolution

The Kaguya Lunar Atlas: The Moon in High Resolution
by Motomaro Shirao (Author), Charles A. Wood (Author)


In late 2007, the Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) placed the Kaguya/ Selene spacecraft in orbit around the Moon to probe the Moon’s surface and interior. But unlike previous lunar orbiters, Kaguya carries a high definition television camera (HDTV) sent beyond Earth orbit. Sponsored by the Japanese NHK TV network, the HDTV has amazed both scientists and the public with its magnificent views of the lunar surface. What makes these images so much more engaging than standard vertical view lunar photography is that they are taken looking obliquely along the flight path. Thus, they show the Moon as it would be seen by an astronaut looking through a porthole window while orbiting only 100 km above the lunar surface. This is the view we all would wish to have but are never likely to,...

Master Handbook of Video Production

Master Handbook of Video Production
by Jerry Whitaker (Author)


FROM THE EDITOR OF THE STANDARD HANDBOOK OF VIDEO AND TELEVISION ENGINEERING THE ALL-MEDIA GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL VIDEO PRODUCTION You don't need an engineering degree to succeed in video production. In this book, video expert Jerry Whitaker shows you production from the inside out, from studio lighting to creating post-production special effects. The Art of Video Production Perfect for anyone who wants to build skills in the fast-growing field of digital video production, and produce video for TV, HDTV, movies, the Internet, or any other application, Master Handbook of Video Production shows you how to-
* Select, install, and work with digital equipment
* Understand MPEG video compression
* Design video production centers
* Master standard-definition and...

Video Engineering (McGraw-Hill Video/Audio Engineering)

Video Engineering (McGraw-Hill Video/Audio Engineering)
by Arch Luther (Author), Andrew Inglis (Author)


Fine-tune your skills to meet today's digital video challenges. The all-new Third Edition of Video Engineering, by Arch Luther and Andrew Inglis, gives you instant access to formats, standards and technology for capturing, storing, editing, transmitting and reproducing all kinds of video. From cutting-edge digital postproduction technology to streaming video on the Internet, this desktop database of essential video knowledge puts your professional career in high gear! You'll master the techniques required for flawless operation of next-generation technology, including: digital HDTV; computer & internet video formats; digital cameras and recorders; receivers and monitors; CATV & satellite TV systems; and more.

The English Girl (Gabriel Allon)

The English Girl (Gabriel Allon)
by Daniel Silva (Author)


Daniel Silva delivers another spectacular thriller starring Gabriel Allon, The English Girl. When a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, a prime minister’s career is threatened with destruction. Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies might be the truth…
 
Silva’s work has captured the imagination of millions worldwide; his #1 New York Times bestselling series which chronicles the adventures of art-restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon has earned the praise of readers and reviewers everywhere. This captivating new page-turner from the undisputed master of spy fiction is sure to thrill new and old fans...

Super-Resolution Imaging (Digital Imaging and Computer Vision)

Super-Resolution Imaging (Digital Imaging and Computer Vision)
by Peyman Milanfar (Editor)


This book functions as the definitive overview of the field of super-resolution imaging. Written by the leading researchers in the field of image and video super-resolution, it surveys the latest state-of-the-art techniques in super-resolution imaging. Each detailed chapter provides coverage of the implementations and applications of super-resolution imaging. Its 14 sections span a wide range of modern super-resolution imaging techniques and includes variational, Bayesian, feature-based, multi-channel, learning-based, locally adaptive, and nonparametric methods. It discusses, among others, medical, military, and remote-sensing applications. The book can be used as a reference, a basis for short-courses on the subject, or as part of a graduate course on digital image processing.

Mastering HD Video with Your DSLR

Mastering HD Video with Your DSLR
by Helmut Kraus (Author), Uwe Steinmueller (Author)


Many of the newest DSLRs include HD video capability, and while the interest from the photography community was initially cool, we have seen a recent shift. Photographers are beginning to explore the video capabilities of their cameras and want to learn about the art and craft of creating high quality video.

This book takes photographers through video concepts, video features of their DSLRs, equipment needed to shoot video, to understanding the restrictions, problems, and pitfalls of shooting video with a DSLR. Learn how to capture and edit video footage, to achieve the unique "motion picture look" and effects not possible with standard digital video equipment. Examples, video clips, and other useful materials are on the DVD included with the book.

Photographers...

Masterclips 101,000 Premium Image Collection CD 9 Pack (Clip Art, True Type Fonts, Color Photos, Web Images, Sound Clips, Animation and Video Clips, and More!)

Masterclips 101,000 Premium Image Collection CD 9 Pack (Clip Art, True Type Fonts, Color Photos, Web Images, Sound Clips, Animation and Video Clips, and More!)
by IMSI (Author)


Includes 9 CDs. a leading developer and publisher of quality productivity software for the small business and home markets, announced today that it plans to ship the MasterClips 101,000 Premium Image Collection on August 26, 1996 at a targeted street price of $59.95. MasterClips 101,000 is the next release in IMSI's Master line of desktop publishing desktop publishing, system for producing printed materials that consists of a personal computer or computer workstation, a high-resolution printer (usually a laser printer), and a computer program that allows the user to select from a variety of type fonts and sizes, ..... Click the link for more information. and art products. This premium collection includes some of the highest quality clip art A set of canned images used to illustrate word...

High Definition Television: The Creation, Development and Implementation of HDTV Technology

High Definition Television: The Creation, Development and Implementation of HDTV Technology
by Philip J. Cianci (Author), Bernard S. Finn (Foreword)


The 40-year history of high definition television technology is traced from initial studies in Japan, through its development in Europe, and then to the United States, where the first all-digital systems were implemented. Details are provided about advances in HDTV technology in Australia and Japan, Europe's introduction of HDTV, Brazil's innovative use of MPEG-4 and China's terrestrial standard. The impact of HDTV on broadcast facility conversion and the influx of computer systems and information technology are described, as well as the contributions of the first entrepreneurial HD videographers and engineers. This thoroughly researched volume highlights several of the landmark high-definition broadcasts from 1988 onward, includes input gathered from more than 50 international...

High-Definition DVD Handbook: Producing for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc

High-Definition DVD Handbook: Producing for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc
by Mark Johnson (Author), Charles Crawford (Author), Chris Armbrust (Author)


Everything you need to design and produce high definition DVDs-from three of the most well-known specialists in the industry High Definition DVD Handbook is your one-stop resource for mastering the new HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats and successfully applying them to the entire DVD process-from authoring to design to production. You'll see how to fully utilize the amazing new resolution and features of high definition DVD, understand the major differences between the formats, navigate complex specs, and set up for either small- or large-scale production. Featuring a foreword by Jim Taylor, coauthor of DVD Demystified, this practical, irreverent guide: Gives you comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of both new competing high definition DVD formats Covers all-new, high definition authoring...

High Resolution Video Graphics (Jay Ranade Workstation Series)

High Resolution Video Graphics (Jay Ranade Workstation Series)
by Julio Sanchez (Author), Maria P. Canton (Author)


For 386, 386SX, and 486 PC power users, this book/disk combination offers detailed programming examples that enhance IBM's XGA graphics capability. It offers a technical tutorial on programming the XGA system using Adapter Interface (AI) software. The 3.5" disk is usable from C, Pascal, BASIC, and Assembler language. Detailed discussions of XGA features and characteristics, including a technical description of XGA architecture and components, are included. Also highlighted are the importance and usefulness of the XGA graphics coprocessor and its advantages in programming the XGA system. Other features include: direct access to XGA hardware; animation techniques; bitblt and sprite operations; a value-added diskette that contains not only code samples, but also an extensive XGA programming...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com