STREET VIEW VIDEO VIA OPENPATHS API

[code] Python (2.6), GPL

Brainstorming with @blprnt this morning about what people might do with the new OpenPaths API, we thought it would be pretty awesome to see every place you’ve ever been via Google Street View.

Loading all of that up through the Google Maps interface seemed overly burdensome, so we figured there must be a way to pull the static tiles. Turns out there is (though it’s unofficial). @jaimethompson breaks it down for you.

From there, it was pretty straightforward to pull the points, scrape the images, and assemble the video. It includes points from September ‘10 to the present and a dozen or so cities, beginning in LA I think, but NYC clearly dominates. Non-urban spots arent captured well, and in Googleland it’s never winter. You might also notice that the granularity of the video increases at the end. That’s because at a certain point I start using the forthcoming OpenPaths app, which samples periodically, rather than the data from iTunes backups, which only looks at novel locations. The API pulls from both.

Want your own? I did this with python as usual — you can grab the code here if you’re interested (youll need PIL and the latest OpenCV bindings installed to export the video). This is a bit of a soft launch for the OP API as we gradually work in new features. Let me know if anyone gives it a try (especially if youre using a different language).

Noncoders fear not — we’ll hopefully be integrating something like this (but cooler and more blprnty) directly into the OpenPaths interface in the near future.

→ 2011-07-07