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Virtual Skydive 43

StarEmperor writes: "The folks at Goddard Space Flight Center have created virtual zoom-ins from space to various cities using composites of satellite images."
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Virtual Skydive

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Virtual Caleb Jaffa [porteighty.net]!
  • by alewando ( 854 ) on Friday April 20, 2001 @11:37PM (#275697)
    It's nice to see technology being used in a neat (if not particularly innovative) way, but is skydiving something we should be promoting?

    Skydiving is a dangerous sport. It's a sport completely without merit: why would any sane individual jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Like anorexics who starve themselves amidst an abundance of food, skydivers ought to seek medical attention for the perverse pleasure they seek via this crime against the order of the universe. Like drunk drivers who must spend hours at hospital emergency rooms seeing the actual damage done by drunk driving, skydivers should be forced to spend time with pilots who've suffered catastrophic physical or emotional injuries when bailing out of downed aircraft. Perhaps then they'd repent of their ways.

    I admit, it's better that we should engage in virtual skydiving than actual skydiving, just as perhaps at bottom it's better to be engaging in pornographic anime than engaging in actual tentacle rape. But nevertheless, virtual skydiving must inevitably serve as a gateway activity; the thrill experienced during virtual skydiving will soon seem insufficient, and people will switch to harder and more dangerous pastimes like virtual bullrunning and virtual shuffleboard.

    What's more, vitual reality is itself a danger: people will lose themselves in virtual worlds and neglect the reality they occupy and the obligations and commitments they have. Children will go hungry as their parents engage in virtual diversions. Debauchery and obscenity will run rampant as people are freed from having to locate actual fellow human beings who share their perversions: pederasty and coprophilia will reach all-time highs as the nation's moral fiber is flushed down the drain like so many digested raisin-bran muffins with cream cheese and a slice of canteloupe.

    Will we be able to face ourselves in that world? Or will we be able to tear ourselves free from the grasp of our fantasies and horrors? There's a reason why The Matrix is a dystopian vision of the future: could we imagine living in a world where the pinnacle of humanity's advancement is Keanu Reeves? As the world descends into madness and suffering, who will remind us which pills to take? Will love and compassion melt from our breast like butter on a tin roof or marmalade on a toasted English muffin?

    No. A thousand times, no. We must not allow this to come to pass. We must not allow an abomination such as virtual skydiving to commandeer our imaginations and human potential. We must, for the sake of the children, never stop trying to build a world where what goes up stays up instead of plummeting to the ground at a high speed until it's suddenly cushioned by a nylon netting dragging against gaseous atmospheric particles. To fail in this endeavor would be to threaten the very existence of all that is good.

    I have seen the enemy and her face is skydiving.

    Thank you.
  • Heh, after I watched through it once, I found myself grabbing the seek control and pretending I was navigating around at will, like those big satellite-reconstructed virtual Earths in Snow Crash. I can't wait until someone releases a database/browser capable of that!
  • Powers of Ten [powersof10.com], a short film made in 1968 that does a zoom all the way from the edges of the known universe to individual atoms.

    What's really interesting is that the film, made by Ray Eames, was originally commissioned by IBM! Fancy that - IBM, the world's least exciting technology monolith (no pun intended) produces one of the best science films, and best short films, ever made . . . :)

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • yes, it's dangerous.

    yes, people die doing it.

    so all you curious folk, just don't bother. That way there will be more room in the plane for me.

  • The thrill, the rush, the experience can't be beat. Don't knock it till you try it.

    Of course our DZ, and the sport itself, is slowly being over-run by nerds and geeks, so "advertising" on /. is probably not the smartest thing.

    Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men, as a whole, experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -- Helen Keller
  • I suddenly feel like I'm ridding an ICBM nuke!
  • ...the movies of zooming in on cities were pretty cool, the real areas that are interesting (and at the same time, saddening) are the animations showing population growth (and the surrounding effects), large lake "seas" drying up, and the deforestation of the rain forest (that big green thing near the equator that keeps the earth habitable, by being a CO2 sink - of course, I would like to see if other areas have increased in forest growth - not necessarily just in the tropical regions - oh well)...

    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!
  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Saturday April 21, 2001 @02:26AM (#275704)
    Of course, the images are NASA intercepts from Alien transmissions!!!! . My God people, wake up to the charade being played by our government here. Aliens are real! How else could you explain Ted Copple and Barbra Walters?
  • Hey, Metafilter had it hours ago [metafilter.com] - c'mon Slashies... :)
    OliverWillis.Com [oliverwillis.com]
  • I'm guessing that while Terra does mean Earth, the creators got the word from the Microsoft satellite imagery site, which stole that from ART+COM's Terra project, which did it much earlier. Or maybe they all just had the same great idea.

    So if you like this you should check out their site at Art+Com [artcom.de] (see this page [artcom.de] too).

    There also used to be on the web (same people I think) a site which would take their imagery database and build a movie for you of a zoom down onto any point on earth (though I think it usually ended up being Germany).

    Another quite impressive version of this I've seen was a demo for the Silicon Graphics Infinite Reality workstation / supercomputer. You could zoom from outerspace down to the Matterhorn but that's not all.. the 2-D image which is already gorgeous in ultra-high resolution (must have been 1920 pixels across) is then dissolved and rotated into an amazing texture-mapped, realistic 3-D mdoel of the mountain. I believe this was taken later and changed so you can keep on zooming through the matterhorn into a MIPS processor inside a Nintendo 64. Anyway it was cool because the resolution was about the same as your eye can handle or better, and more detail kept coming up to the surface. Also the images had been processed and had beautiful color and contrast.

    Lastly, there is also Tom Van Sant's own project, GeoSphere [geosphere.com]. The cloudless earth he assembled painstakingly from Nasa imagery became the best selling photo in Japan and was the basis for his large globe models.

    If you are still interested, check out the World Processor [worldprocessor.com] by Ingo Gunther. Beautiful globes used to describe the world to earthlings. Oh and another very nice artwork by another friend named Eto-san who used peltier devices to make a realistic temperature scale across a live satellite map in BeWare [sensorium.org]. Not visual zooming but another sensory dimension for sure. I guess everyone depends on NASA for the real goods!

  • You're right, though it seemed to me some of the smoothness (and it was smooth) cam from lack of detail or desaturation. Kinda muddy.

    But very cool that it is all satellite. Nice if it was all on a local disk..
  • By Terry Bisson
    From "Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories," Copyright © 1994, Tor Books

    The SETI website used this copyrighted work with permission from the owners. Did you?

    If you were funny on your own, you'd deserve a laugh, or a plus moderation. If you attributed this to its rightful source, you'd be considered witty for juxtaposing the article with the story. As it is, you're just plagiarizing.

  • We know these people can build spaceships, satellites, killer cameras. But can they build a web server that can handle thousands of users requesting those 24meg MPEGs at once?
  • In a similar vain, this Zoom in to Europa [nasa.gov] is pretty cool. Europa [seds.org] is the satellite of Jupiter that may have have a liquid water ocean under its icy surface.
  • *waits for the trolls to come out* :P

    my sig is particularly applicable here, too *grins*

  • I did. It didn't taste too good :(
  • That was hilarious. This is a little offtopic, but do our mice and screens allow us to see that far *before* you zoom in? I might end up in the wrong orifice if I clicked too soon!


    Hmmm, B&W fix!
    B&W Creatures forum [mgoforum.com] (There was an AI discussion on yesterday's archives)
  • Wow, I don't understand how anyone can think NASA is a waste of money.


  • This would have been more impressive if it was posted a couple of weeks ago, before I'd played Black&White, which lets me seamlessly zoom from several thousand feet in the air down to one of my worshipper's nasal hair follicles if I so desire.

    http://www.bootyproject.org [bootyproject.org]
  • ..of gulf war footage. Notice what NASA picked as their first target? I can hear the freedom crew now "roger, splash one, we have secondaries." Afterward everyone would talk about how cunning it is to fly right through the weakly armored dome..
  • +5, Funny

    I was going to argue this post, but now I realize how funny it is.

    pederasty and coprophillia will reach all time highs as the nation's moral fiber is flushed down the drain like so many digested raisin-bran miffins with cream cheese and a slice of canteloupe
    I hope this guy is planning on making more Slashdot posts.
  • Well, please excuse me for saying I hope we see more of this guy.
    With a UID of 854, it seems that he has probably been around for a while.
    Also, the moderators might want to check out this guys comments before they moderate him...some of his comments from the past few weeks have been moderated about 15 times, half up and half down.
  • And yet they haven't written one simple law that would prevent the senseless waste of life and equipment that has been caused by skydiving.

    Yes they have [afn.org].

    The AOL-Time Warner-Microsoft-Intel-CBS-ABC-NBC-Fox corporation:
  • It sounds a lot like an -interactive- demo that SGI has for some of their 3-projector panoramic "reality center" setups. Fly around earth and then "bungie jump" down all the way to one of about 8 cities, then pull back up. I forget how large they said their texture database was but 400 GB sounds about right. Their Ciprico fibrechannel disk arrays were beside the Onyx2's in the corner of the room and golly were their activity lights every going like crazy. If I recall correctly, we were able to from space to street level in about 15 seconds smooth as butter on that crazy high resolution screen, though we pulled back to space a lot slower but just as smooth.

    Anyone else recall this demo?
  • I posted this hours ago, and yet Slashdot decides to go with a OK sounding headline.Ugh.

    2001-04-20 20:29:35 Extreeeeme Closeup (articles,news) (rejected)


  • I really have to wonder how much marijuana alewando smoked before posting this

    So only people who smoke marijuana understand that skydiving is dangerous? For your information, skydiving causes hundreds of deaths [skydivenet.com], accidents and airplane crashes [skydivenet.com]. This is for an activity that is purely entertainment and thrills - in other words, utterly superfluous.

    Government regulations on the sale of cabbage amount to about 27,000 words. Federal regulations regarding hamburger meat take up twelve feet of bookshelf space. And yet they haven't written one simple law that would prevent the senseless waste of life and equipment that has been caused by skydiving.


  • by SkyIce ( 184974 )
    take a look at GlobeXplorer [globexplorer.com] - they have satellite views of everywhere in the U.S., although they're best on the west coast. Try putting your street address in, you might be scared.
  • Powers of Ten is absolutely amazing. I saw it for the first time at the Deutche Museum in Munich, Germany about 2 weeks ago. Apparently it's available on DVD, which I think I might get. Powers of ten takes you from a picnic on earth to outside our galaxy in "powers of ten". It's really amazing.
  • Geesh ruin
    it for all of us why don't you! :-P
  • I am so fucking drun. .fuck you all.!! and first prost while i'm at ait.t. yay
  • Watching these can create the counter-rotating spirals illusion. Watch the zoomout, staring at the exact center, then look at the back of your hand or something.
  • It always causes a recto-cranial spasm in the Cthurch of $cientology when satellite photos of their compound in Hemet, CA are published.

    Co$ has a case (through a puppet/stupid DA) ongoing against Keith Henson to charge him with terrorism, because some people took GPS coordinates of locations in Hemet, and someone made a joke about targeting on alt.religion.scientology. So members of Co$ were "afraid" that Keith had a cruise missle in his pocket when he peacefully picketed Hemet. (He was just happy to see them.)

  • This post would be funny, except for this bullshit legislation (that affects many different types of outdoor activities, including my favorite, mountain biking):

    http://www.greatworldfinancial.com/feds.htm [greatworldfinancial.com]

  • I don't usually go for the light news :) but that had to be one of the coolest Internet experiences I've had since, well, hell, that was cooler than pr0n!
    But seriously, panning around the big cities like that was a whole lot of fun, once I got over the nausea of looking at things more or less upside-down. A note to dialup users - you probably won't enjoy the file sizes very much, but the resolution is kickin! 'Course, my cable modem ate it up!
  • Just for the cool factor. It looks awesome. If you think back 50 years, people would have laughed at you if you told them that you can see what it feels like to fall from space and smack into the HOLLYWOOD sign.

    I dont like heights much and watching that was weird. People that think NASA wastes money can go back to their basements and listen to a transistor radio. I think NASA rocks, and that they make stuff like this is cool. Some people may not appreciate that, but I do and dont mind one bit my tax dollars go to them.


    I love my iBook. I use it to run Linux!
  • I know kung fu. Whoa!


    I love my iBook. I use it to run Linux!
  • The SF zoom is especially impressive because you can see the "coastline fractal" at four discernably different scales. It's much more impressive than the usual demos that rely on still photos at different magnifications.
  • I want this data in a flight sim! Wonder how long I'll have to wait...
  • Man if first post was such a big deal, I'm sure there is a nerd out there that'd make an HTML bot for it. May be kinda funny to see it win every time.
  • the actual technology used by nasa to create the zoom is the old demo scene [scene.org] trick of a number of different scale images scaled down and then expanded to their full size - this can also be done to create a real time fractal zoomer without having to render each frame seperately - just render the frame at double the resolution and zoom in until you hit that frame, in which time you've rendered the next double-size fractal image.

    i was angry:1 with:2 my:4 friend - i told:3 4 wrath:5, 4 5 did end.
  • Download the Orlando freefall before Diz-nee takes it down for some sorta mouse-eared copyright violation!


  • That was awesome... But hey I saw that on MI2 a year ago... and they even had a babe in it :-))

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.