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the web designer’s Notebook

Web Designer's Notebook

Welcome to the web designer’s notebook! We try to feed web designer’s with a relevant source of information relating to web design and development. Enjoy!

Design Trends April 7th, 2010
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Seen Google Maps Street View in 3D yet?

Google Maps 3D If you were browsing through Google Maps Street View on the morning of April 1st you may have been forgiven for thinking that Google was up to its usual April Fools mischief. Yes, lo and behold the yellow Pegman was there, looking bored and sporting some old school retro 3D glasses. Upon clicking him, the scenery shifts to a nostalgic red and cyan blur. Google has taken Street View into the glorious realm of three dimensions.

Well, sort of. It's not quite the reality shattering effect of the 3D in Avatar, more like the naff red and blue 3D our grandparents experienced back in the seventies, but it's a nice novelty, even if it's only for a short while. It seems as if this 3D effect is an "Easter egg treat" for the week over Easter. Google Books also made the brave leap into the third dimension but this was only for one day on April 1st. I guess three dimensional book text isn't quite as exciting as looking into your office window in 3D.

It took me a whole hour of rummaging under my bed before I finally found an old pair of 3D specs. A little bent in the middle but they were enough to let me experience the full 3D capabilities of Street View, which I have to say, wasn't all that great. Google is using LIDAR, Light Detection and Ranging, to calculate 3D distances. Usually distances are calculated by using the two images produced by two different camera angles. This is perhaps the reason why the overall resolution and depth of the 3D is pretty low.

Google 3D - Parkinson Steps

Is the future of the web in 3D?

3D is obviously all the rage right now, not a week floats by in Hollywood without the announcement of another major 3D film in the works. This Spring sees the release of Sky 3D TV and we can only assume that in the not too distant future the web will undergo a significant 3D revolution. Kids will sit in front of there 27 inch iMac screens wearing polarized lenses and watching blog posts fly out to within an inch of their face...Well, maybe, but with the internet’s increased stake in online entertainment and entertainment's increased stake in 3D technology, it's highly plausible that a mainstream 3D internet is lurking on the horizon.

Update - If you're viewing this after the 7th April the 3D will not be active.

View Larger Map

Despite its limitations, Street View 3D is a fun April Fools addition to Google Maps, if you have a pair of red/ cyan specs then have a look for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments. Google's other April Fools pranks this year included Google 'Translate for Animals,' an App for Android claiming to record animal sounds and translate them into human speech. Google also changed it's name to 'Topeka' for a day, the name of the town currently trying to change it's name to 'Google'.

3D internet is something that greatly interests me so there may be further posts covering the topic in the future – Mark.


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Your Comments...

Anon rabbit blogger
2 Jack May

Can’t believe I missed it!!! does anyone know if it is gonna come back? I think I still have some old skool glasses kicking about somewhere…

Anon rabbit blogger
1 Jordan

Google’s April fools pranks are quite funny, you can see a list of them on Wikipedia.

Great site by the way, I’m jealous, will try catch you next time I’m up north.

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