Whileseated Vs. World’s Best Street Photography Robot

Pictures of my own from recognizable locations in San Francisco vs. Immersive Media’s Robotic Car Camera, via Google Street Views.

Update: Aw heck this post’s images were eaten by a wordpress upgrade…

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Round 4:
That one’s from No Flash Corner, which is also looks like this in Street Views. (Not bad for a robot!)

Updated – Round 5:


Which of these three of the Great Wall in Chinatown was taken by Google’s robot? Click the image to find out.


19 thoughts on “Whileseated Vs. World’s Best Street Photography Robot”

  1. It’s amazing but the robots shot on flash corner is pretty good actually.

    I guess statistically, the robot is bound to make a couple of nice photos here and there…
    So there’s hope for me!

  2. MDM 1 : Robot 0

    Robot version 2.0 might be tougher to beat though. I hear it will be outfitted with a Leica. 😉

  3. MDM wins, altho robot did capture cool $ graffitti in round 4. But can we be sure that’s not a robot dog that MDM planted on the sill in Round 5? I say no.

  4. as always, you’re way ahead of the curve.

    now let’s see if google can creatively edit and sequence their photographs 🙂

  5. Nice effort from the robot on Round 4, but it still needs to look at more photo books.

    Btw, anybody know how Google did it? By that I mean what kind of technology/equipment?

  6. “The reader can demonstrate the point by clicking off a roll with the family Instamatic or Leica without moving from his chair: point the machine at random this way and that, quickly and without thought. When the film is developed every frame will define a subject different from any defined before. To make matters worse, some of the pictures are likely to be marginally interesting. Even the automatic cameras that record the comings and goings in banks describe facts and relationships that surprise mere eye-witnesses.”

    -John Szarkowski

  7. Stephen Shore talked at B&N a while back about a researcher he had been talking to, doing research into A.I. kinds of things, and they were trying to get a robot to recognize features in a landscape, so they needed some “pictures” of landscapes, so to be scientific, they set up some kind of random robot camera to make “pictures”, but they were no help in teaching the AI anything-they were too haphazard, so that’s how Shore got involved, they used some of his street scenes to teach the robot how to see. Same idea. BTW, robot is showing some chops in round 4…but it was overmatched from the beginning…

  8. tb, that shark quote reminds me of a film I once saw comprised entirely of security camera footage from Berlin. The edit was thrilling. Completely boring, with sharp, insane moments of terror every once in awhile – bank robberies and the like. But you had to sit through 20 minutes of nothingness to get there.

    A camera that’s on all the time will eventually record something interesting. A camera that’s on once, but everywhere (the google example) will find something interesting, too, eventually.

  9. dee – mousing around noflashcorner is lots of fun, from afar. i can almost smell the leather. the whole corner smells like leather, thanks to Coach.

    along – i hadn’t seen that checkerboard sweater. awesome! at first, i was just going to post interesting street shots i’d found in street views, but scrolling through all that stuff hoping to find something was maddening.

  10. Interesting, I am waiting for remote control cameras where I can fly my camera around like a model airplane while sitting in my apartment staring at an LCD screen able to press the remote when i want it too snap a photo. Maybe they will have that ready available when I am immobile so I can still shoot.

  11. Interesting concept and competition. Congrats on the human victory, MDM, holding the line against the robot onslaught — for th etime being…

    But we’re in the early stages — sort of like the first computerized chess demos in which the grandmasters trounced the robots a few decades back. Not so easy now.

    Now that point and shoot cameras are boasting face recognition technology, a little tweaking will probably give the little devils some spooky seeming skill sets one of these days. The wonders of technology…

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