Combining Skybox with Google Street View?


#1

By creating an interface that allows us to select a position geographically, perhaps a map on a web-entity, and then automatically downloading a Google Street View panorama picture and convert that to a skybox we could create the illusion of actually moving to an arbitrary place. It might also be used to create a custom skybox.

Have anyone any thoughts about how this could be done? In theory it should be simple.


#2

I have actually considered this.
The limitations are that the skybox background is constant, as you move, the background moves with you and never appear to progress thru the scene according to the background. You would have to disable the walking and rely solely on teleporting in specific steps according to where each streetview image is taken from. Pretty much how streetview actually works already, I’m not sure if there would be any advantage.
I believe the streetview API is available for a limited number of hits per day per app before charges kick in.
Geographically it would be a nightmare to map and control unless it was a small limited area, because the variations in the distances between each streetview shot are not constant. But I’m sure there is a way of getting some joy out of this.


#3

And perhaps the resolution is too low also. Yes, I do realize that the background would move along with you, but it would still be an interesting application. You could have a lecture about Stockholm in VR and then suddenly teleport there.


#4

Try chrome plug in ‘pano fetch’ also streetview has something called ‘photosphere’ which looks promising.


#5

You absolutely can bring a Google Streetview panorama in as a skybox, albeit with all the caveats other people have mentioned.

What hasn’t been mentioned is the copyright on those panoramas.They’re owned by Google, and I’d assume they are rather strictly licensed. It would be worth doing some research on what uses Google allows for their imagery.

(I know, I’m a killjoy.)


#6

Also noticed this library.

It might actually be possible to do it on the fly in High Fidelity if you follow this guide.

But of course, that issue about copyright will be a limitation. Still, there are many more photo-spheres than skyboxes out there.


#7

*No commercial use allowed


#8

I dont believe thats true, I have looked into using streetview in commercial aps and it is totally do-able, free apps are free to a point and for commercial apps you can get a licence and pay.

Pokemon Go is a classic example of a commercial ap using google streetview.


#9

Yeah I think there is some confusion between using the APIs (free up to certain number of calls to service) and using ‘street view images’ , better safe than sorry, if you want to use them commercially probably a good idea to ask permission.


#10

@Marcus.Llewellyn was asking exactly what usage Google allows, the link I posted answers the question.
That should have cleared any confusion, as with most easily grabbable content, you cant just start using it without the proper licence, but the licence is readily available. (Sadly with very low resolution 640 x 640 maximum image resolution for the free usage, but up to 2048 x 2048 for the premium plan.)


#11

That is for the API, the image I used was a downloaded .png file, still unclear… original image was 13312 x 6656 which I scaled down to 4096 x 2048


#12

The image you posted looks great, sadly if you just downloaded it, its probably unlicensed.


#13

https://www.google.com/permissions/geoguidelines.html#general-guidelines more details…