Smile Earth – You’re On Candid Camera

June 28, 2011 at 5:00 am | Posted in Science News | Leave a comment
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If only Alan Funt were alive to see this. This week for Science Tuesday I give you UrtheCast. By spring of 2012, the entirety of planet Earth will be available for viewing by a pair of cameras mounted to the International Space Station that has been described by it’s creators as “Google Earth on steroids.”

An article in Popular Science (www.popsci.com) by Rebecca Boyle states:

A Canadian company called UrtheCast (don’t ask us why it’s spelled this way) arranged a deal with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, to bring two cameras to the International Space Station sometime later this year, where they will be mounted on the exterior. The video will be downlinked to Earth and broadcast online.

One camera will shoot in high-definition, with a frame rate of 3.25 fps, and another will broadcast in lower resolution, offering a three-color image. It will provide the first high-definition continuous video footage of Earth, according to Scott Larson, co-founder and president of UrtheCast, in a promotional video.

The system will work as a sort of mashup between Google Earth and YouTube, Larson says, connecting live footage with maps and other capabilities. Users will be able to pause, rewind and zoom, and view specific times and locations — so long as the ISS was passing overhead at the time.

The cameras are said to be able to provide images down to 1 meter resolution.

The accompanying UrtheCast youtube video:

So what are the implications of this new technology? Will it make life easier for stalkers? Will it be used responsibly by all of humanity? Probably not likely. Come next spring, don’t go outside and do anything you wouldn’t want an overhead shot of winding up on the web. Me? I think I’ll adopt a penguin and follow him around Antarctica from my office.

by Revmacd For Roqoo Depot – All The Latest Star Wars News and keeping an eye on Big Brother.

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