Have you ever been clicking along a particularly stunning stretch of road in Google Street View and thought: damn, how awesome it would be if you could stitch all these individual images together and turn them into a video? Well... sit down. Clear your schedule. There's something you need to see.
Some enterprising developers at Teehan+Lax Labs have designed a quick and easy web tool that makes it easy to create jawdropping hyperlapse videos from publicly available Google Maps data. All you need is a WebGL-enabled browser (Chrome should do the trick) and a decent internet connection, and you'll be on your way to hyperlapse heaven. By this point you've probably put two and two together and deduced what, exactly, a hyperlapse is. In case you haven't, here's Teehan+Lax with some context and exposition:
Hyper-lapse photography – a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest – has been a growing trend on video sites. It’s not hard to find stunning examples on Vimeo. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material. It worked so well, we decided to design a very usable UI around our engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.
At the top of this post is an example of the type of thing this tool is capable of. It is, in a word, spellbinding.
We anxiously await the flood of homemade hyperlapse videos featuring Google's stockpile of arresting streetview images. The Amazon. Kennedy Space Center. The Grand Canyon. The village from The Prisoners. Get started here. Let's make this happen, people.
Tons more info – including background, source code, and a link to the UI for creating your own hyperlapse – over at Teehan+Lax Labs.