Researchers from Google and the University of Washington are combining their efforts to gather time-stamped and geo-tagged photos from all over the internet to build an amazing mine of time-lapse photography. The team is using photos uploaded from the public of major landmarks and creating these incredible images.

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The scientists wrote and then used powerful algorithms, according to Treehugger, to crawl the web and gather over 86 million old photographs. The images were then stitched together to create time-lapsed ‘video’ of a point on the Earth. Time-lapsed images usually are created by setting up a camera, usually on a tripod, and then taking images repeatedly over a long period of time. By using images already uploaded, the scientists were able to avoid this tedious process.

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“I always loved time-lapse photography, but never thought about making them myself due to all the logistical challenges,” explains Ricardo Martin Brualla to Wired. Brualla worked alongside researchers David Gallup and Steven Seitz on this creative marriage of technology and crowdsourcing. “As our tools for working with internet imagery got more and more sophisticated, we found that lo and behold, it might be possible to create time-lapses from photos that people have already taken.” The process requires of hundreds of terabytes of computer power, but resulted in over 11,000 videos.

Via Treehugger

Images via YouTube/Ricardo Martin Brualla