On the Street: a first person creator

Written by on 2nd October 2011 in Experiments, Thoughts with Leave a comment

SUPER rough first pass at a literal mashup of Google Streetview and Garry’s Mod. Aside from the rough key I’m pretty impressed with how well it actually lined up. I think it’s an interesting way to think about creating things in the real world.

I would say that most people who are building things for the “real” world do it using CAD, looking at things from their top-down, bird’s eye view of the structure. Sure you can get in there with a camera to sort of see what it would be like inside, but it’s not quite the same as being able to play test a structure from a first person perspective in the environment. Obviously, CAD is super useful when you’re actually creating construction documents and instructions for people to build things that won’t collapse on people. But what if you don’t mind so much if it’s not perfect? Maybe all you need is a picture and some general guidelines that you can pass on to let the person doing the constructing. Maybe they could have some freedom to interpret and build upon your idea. Or, if it actually needs to be perfect, why not remove the human all together and just let a robot print it in 3D?

This is an actual screen shot from Google’s 3D mapping site guidelines. Basically Google “lets” you model real world buildings and place them in Google Earth. But they seriously take all the fun out of it. Plus it’s still from a birds eye view anyways, which isn’t terribly interesting to me.

These are Google’s guidelines:

  • Represent real and permanent structures
  • Be better than all other alternatives
  • Be textured with photographs
  • Be correctly aligned with the imagery in Google Earth
  • Not include more than one discrete structure
  • Not float above or be sunken under the ground
  • Not include an excess of constructed terrain
  • Not include bundled entourage
  • Be the correct height and scale
  • Not exhibit Z-fighting
  • Not contain advertising or spam
  • Be complete
  • Not be too complex
I would propose a system that is more like the penguin picture. One that follows an alternate set of guidelines, that would yield much more interesting results.:
  • Represent imagined and temporary structures
  • Be different than all the other alternatives
  • Be textured with anything
  • Challenge the imagery in Google Earth
  • Include as many structures as desired
  • Defy laws of physics
  • Create new terrains
  • Include an entourage
  • Challenge the notions of “correct” scale
  • Fight z-space
  • Embrace the materiality of ads and spam
  • Be incomplete
  • Be very complex.


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