This would be pretty cool, which is good since we’re headed in this direction already.
Take this story: Entire Cities Recreated Using Thousands of Flickr Photos
“A group of researchers with University of Washington’s graphics and imaging laboratory (GRAIL) wanted to see if they could build a piece of software that would search the web for images of a particular place and recreate that place in 3D in under a day.
They succeeded, and the team, lead by Sameer Agarwal, created a simulation of Rome using 150,000 images harvested from photo-sharing website Flickr, and build a virtual model within a day.
The team also tested the software on the Croatian city of Dubrovnic and were able to recreate the entire old city, including all the buildings and streets, within 22 hours.”>
Mix in local, digitized history from the library and archives, the way DOK does with their Surface table app that reads your library card and retrieves historical images of your neighborhood.
Top off with the coming wave of augmented reality apps for mobile devices, led by the “it’s already here” Yelp app for local reviews.
“Yelp’s new iPhone app is now the first iPhone App with Augmented Reality. It takes Yelp information and overlays it into the real-world. It’s actually a secret easter egg (discovered by Robert Scoble), which may be why Apple didn’t reject Yelp’s augmented reality app. We have screenshots and a demo video to show you what this is all about.” [Mashable]
And you get a glimpse of where virtual worlds, ubiquitous information, and mobile broadband access will converge. I can imagine walking through Chicago neighborhoods (like Pullman), around the Mall in Washington DC, and other places where libraries can add value to this type of experience.
If you feel information overload now, just wait until that information flow magically appears all around you in the real world and not just on a screen. Can librarians become part of users’ networks and help filter out some of the noise? Will libraries make their archives open and available for these types of uses?