A Couple of Things That Make You Say “Cool!”

Building Rome in a Day from the University of Washington (Hat Tip to Past Thinking). The University of Washington describes the project this away:

Entering the search term Rome on Flickr returns more than two million photographs. This collection represents an increasingly complete photographic record of the city, capturing every popular site, facade, interior, fountain, sculpture, painting, cafe, and so forth. It also offers us an unprecedented opportunity to richly capture, explore and study the three dimensional shape of the city.

In this project, we consider the problem of reconstructing entire cities from images harvested from the web. Our aim is to build a parallel distributed system that downloads all the images associated with a city, say Rome, from Flickr.com. After downloading, it matches these images to find common points and uses this information to compute the three dimensional structure of the city and the pose of the cameras that captured these images. All this to be done in a day.

Next up, the sound of an epigonion – an ancient instrument something like a harp – from Greece. You can hear the epigonion here and here (also has videos). From The Astra Project website:

The ASTRA projects aims to reconstruct the sound or timbre of ancient instruments (not existing anymore) using archaeological data as fragments from excavations, written descriptions, pictures…

The technique used is the physical modeling synthesis, a complex digital audio rendering technique which allows modeling the time-domain physics of the instrument.

In other words the basic idea is to recreate a model of the musical instrument and produce the sound by simulating its behavior as a mechanical system. The application would produce one or more sounds corresponding to different configurations of the instrument (i.e. the different notes).

Cool stuff!

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