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VASC Seminar: Noah Snavely
Calibrating the World's Photos with a Massive 3D Database

Noah Snavely
Assistant Professor, Cornell University

April 15, 2013, 3pm-4pm, NSH 1305
Abstract

We live in a world of ubiquitous imagery, in which the number of images at our fingertips is growing at a seemingly exponential rate. These images come from a wide variety of sources, including mapping sites, webcams, and millions of photographers around the world uploading billions and billions of images to social media and photo-sharing websites, such as Facebook. Taken together, these sources of imagery can be thought of as constituting a distributed camera capturing the entire world at unprecedented scale, and continually documenting its cities, mountains, buildings, people, and events. This talk will focus on how we might use this distributed camera in applications, and how a key problem is *calibration* -- putting each photo in perspective in the real world; for instance, discovering their exact viewpoints -- in an automated, scalable way. Towards this goal, I will describe a massive database of 3D models that we have build from thousands of scenes around the world, and how we are using this data to calibrate new photos.


Additional Information

Host: Bernardo Pires

Appointments: Bernardo Pires (bpires@cs.cmu.edu)

Speaker Biography

Noah Snavely is an assistant professor of Computer Science at Cornell University, where he has been on the faculty since 2009. He received a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Arizona in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2008. Noah works in computer graphics and computer vision, with a particular interest in using vast amounts of imagery from the Internet to reconstruct and visualize our world in 3D, and in creating new tools for enabling people to capture and share their environments. His thesis work was the basis for Microsoft's Photosynth, a tool for building 3D visualizations from photo collections that has been used by many thousands of people. Noah is the recipient of a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship and an NSF CAREER Award, and has been recognized by Technology Review's TR35.