Featured Media Resource: [VIDEO] “3-D Mapping Your World With a Backpack” (KQED/QUEST)
Hyper-realistic video games. They’re made using a technique called 3-D mapping. In the real world, 3-D mapping indoors is much more difficult than 3-D mapping outdoors. The solution? A 3-D mapping backpack. Next up: your smartphone.


Do Now

If your smartphone could work like the backpack in this video, what interior spaces would you 3-D map – and why? #DoNow3DMap

How to Do Now

Do Now by posting your response on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Flickr, Google +, etc.

Be sure to include @KQEDedspace and #DoNow3DMap. Remember: Back up your argument with supporting evidence. Link to legitimate sources that support your view.

Go here for more tips for using Do Now, using Twitter for teaching, and using other digital tools.


Learn More About 3-D Mapping Interior Spaces

If you own a smartphone, you’re probably all too familiar with Google Maps. Not only can you see a map of your surroundings, but that little blue dot keeps track of your location as you move around. Your phone can track your location using GPS. It works great when you’re outside, but if you’ve ever tried it indoors, in a mall or large building, you’ll find that the tracking feature doesn’t work well. GPS can’t be used indoors.

In the world of digital mapping, simultaneous localization and mapping—SLAM—is the method of constructing a map while simultaneously keeping track of location within the map without the use of GPS. If a digital device can SLAM, that means that it can track location indoors.

For years, scientists struggled to create devices that could 3-D map indoors and SLAM. To do it well requires advanced software and hardware to work together. After nearly a decade of research, Dr. Avideh Zakhor, an engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, and her graduate students were able to create a backpack that could produce fast and realistic 3-D maps of indoor environments and track location. Using cameras, laser scanners, and specialized computer software, the backpack could SLAM really well.

3-D mapping_webDerek Lartaud/KQED

Dr. Zakhor initially envisioned her backpack being used for search and rescue. First responders, armed with her 3-D mapping backpack, could enter collapsed buildings and 3-D map it, allowing subsequent rescue teams to better plan rescue missions. It also shows promise in other areas, like real estate, where you could walk through a house with the backpack to record the layout, and energy audits of buildings, where you could equip the backpack with an infrared camera to measure heat loss.

Right now, your smartphone can’t SLAM, but in the near future, a version of Dr. Zakhor’s technology will be widely available in digital consumer products, like smartphones and tablets. This year, Google will introduce Project Tango. It combines 3-D motion tracking with depth sensing to give your smartphone the ability 3-D map and SLAM.

3D MappingPhoto by Tom via Flickr

How could you use this technology? Let’s say you’re tired of the furniture in your bedroom. Using your Tango-enabled smartphone, you could create a 3-D map of your room. Then you could hop on the internet and take different pieces of furniture that have also been 3-D mapped and “virtually” place them in your room, giving you an idea of how the furniture fits in your space before buying it. This process of adding digital layers of information on top of the physical world is referred to as augmented reality.

There’s also the Structure Sensor which is available now. It’s a small 3-D mapping device that attaches to your iPad. With it, you can play and create immersive 3-D games. Imagine a game where the walls of a castle were actually located where your walls were located!

And those are just fun ways to use the technology. 3-D mapping may prove to be a valuable tool in the legal process. Some police forces are using 3-D scanners to virtually map crime scenes, allowing investigators, jurors, judges, and lawyers to inspect the environment from almost any angle.

As 3-D mapping technology gets integrated into more and more devices, the limiting factor won’t be the technology — it will be your imagination.


More Resources

Article: Interior Mapping Camera Will Make a 3-D Model of Your Home (Wired)
A Bay Area start-up is betting that you’ll want a 3-D map of your house.

Video: NASA | LIDAR 3D Mapping (PBS)
See how NASA plans to use 3-D mapping to map the surfaces of planets.

Video: Career Spotlight Spatial Interaction Engineer (KQED/QUEST)
Alex Okita teaches computers to “see like we see.”

Article: 3-D Mapping of Entire Buildings with mobile devices (Phys.org)
Generate a 3-D map of a building quickly and in real time.


Do Next

Do Next takes the online conversation to the next level: these are suggestions for ways to go out into your community and investigate how the topic featured in this Do Now impacts people’s lives. Use digital storytelling tools and social media to share your story and take action. Make sure to tag your creations with #DoNow3DMap.

  • Create a Video: Using your smartphone and a free editing tool like WeVideo, make a 30-second video stating what you think the best use of 3-D mapping is. Provide supporting evidence for your belief.
  • Post a Poll: Put together a list of 4 or more uses for 3-D mapping. They can be uses discussed in this article or uses you have thought of yourself. Then, use an online tool such as polleverywhere.com to create your own poll to find out what people think is the best use of 3-D mapping. Post your results, along with your analysis, on social media.
  • Kong

    If my smart phone could work like the backpack in the video, I would use 3D mapping technology for architectural purposes. Traditionally, construction workers and architects rely on measurements that are taken at the work site. Therefore, architects must waste more time drawing and taking measurements. However, with 3D mapping technology architects will be able to have an accurate model of the working site ready with measurements. This link shows the necessity of drawings when it comes to architecture showing why 3D mapping works.

    http://www.world-architects.com/pages/found/the-working-drawing

  • Tarn

    I would 3-D Map my own school so that during our annual school Lock In, we could use it to plan our capture the flag game strategy (My school). However, 3-D Mapping does pose serious questions; what if this technology falls into the wrong hands? Felons, such as thieves, can use 3-D Mapping to plan their heists and these kinds of crimes could happen more often.

  • Zachary Ernst

    I would use 3-D mapping in many different ways. 3-D mapping would be great for designing things. You could go into a new house that you are trying to design, use the mapping, and then you could design it from your computer instead of having to draw it all out. Wired.com says “You can think of a future where there’s a Google map,” he said, “and with user’s permission, you could go into the houses and buildings and then have a full 3-D view of the world.” This only seems a little creepy when compared to the possibility that we may be helping some hidden artificial intelligence prepare for the Rise of the Machines by creating a Matrix-esque digital library. That would be an awesome invention. Google maps does not show what things actually look like from ground view, but now we will be able to see what things actually do look like.

    3-D mapping can also help advance the technology for virtual reality video games. Where you put the goggles on, and can build stuff, or move stuff around, and even play against other people. It would allow you to see things that are not usually there. Google is introducing Project Tango. Where your phone combines 3-D motion tracking with depth sensing to give your smartphone the ability 3-D map and SLAM. SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localization And Mapping. SLAM is the method of constructing a map while simultaneously keeping track of location within the map without the use of GPS. If a digital device can SLAM, that means that it can track location indoors. SLAM is a great idea and can help many people out in many different ways.

  • Parker Goodrich

    I would use the 3-D mapping technology to get 3-D models of buildings that are on fire. That way the firemen can see where potential residents are trapped in the fire and where the source of the fire could have potentially come from. “The algorithms in the 3-D mapping technology work extremely well” (Laurtaud 1). If the algorithms in the technology work so well then they could even be used to use live mapping to find the exact location of the people in the burning building. ” One advantage is that it can be used in sunlight” (Bergamin 1). If the technology is powered by sunlight than it can be extremely mobile. The mapping can be used directly out in the field with the firemen. Lives can be saved by using this mapping with the firemen saving people and animals from burning houses. “Because the camera can’t see through furniture, it needs to be moved to make sure there aren’t any disturbing vortexes left behind” (Stockton 1). There are downfalls to this technology however. Having this still being fairly new, there are features in the technology that make it hard to use. It takes 45 minutes to scan the house or apartment building that you are in, and you have to move the furniture so that there are no disturbances in the readings of the 3-D mapping. As this technology advances tho, the scans will be much quicker so that less time is consumed and it will be readily used in the firefighting field.

  • Emily Kurburski

    Using 3-D mapping seems useful for certain situations, although it presents itself as very irrelevant to my life. In the video Lartaud created discussing how he is using 3-D mapping to outline buildings, has shown its importance in the everyday lives of those protecting us. They have even begun using these maps during fires in buildings and creating realistic maps when making online games. In another source by Stockton, he states how you can use this mapping to map out your house without all the furniture and other finds you might see in an everyday house. This could be very useful when designing houses and decided where you want to put things. This could be the next generation of architecture where they will no longer have to use measurements and individually scale things, but simply walk around with a scanner that gathers all of that information plus more. I find this to be somewhat helpful, but as a future college student, this seems like it would have little impact on my life, at least for the next couple of years.

  • Isabella Carusi

    What would I do with 3-D mapping technology? I would love to be able to pick a spot of land out, and use my phone to build a digital model of a coffee shop! I have always wanted to be able to use my phone to build 3-D models of anything it would be revolutionary; “One advantage is that it can be used in sunlight. ‘Other systems work using a measuring grid of infra-red light,’” explains Torsten Sattler – (3D mapping of entire buildings with mobile devices) Maybe this type of technology is on its way, but can you map your own house with the eye of the Xbox, the legs of a tripod, and the brain of a MacBook? “Using visual cues rather than geometric coordinates lightens the processing load and makes it so the users don’t have to learn any complicated systems.” – (Interior Mapping Camera Will Make a 3-D Model of Your Home)

    ~Isabella Carusi

  • Reed Moore

    According to the video,3-D Mapping Your World with a Backpack, 3-D printing has made our lives a lot easier. With the new technology from Dr. Zakhor you can see any building or place by using Google Maps on your phone. Also in the video, NASA | LIDAR 3D Mapping, “Animations illustrate how LIDAR — light detection and ranging — uses reflected laser pulses to measure the distance between the instrument on-board a satellite and the surface of the planet” This means that in the video they show you how the astronauts use 3-D screening to see what planets and other land masses look like before they go up into space. In another article, they talk about a way to take a 3-D picture of the inside of any building easier then any other method known.”The new software offers some key advantages over existing methods. One advantage is that it can be used in sunlight”. The other versions of this software require infra-red lighting which requires it to be really dark in the building your trying to scan. But with this new model that annoying step is taking out of the equation. So if I had to choose what I would use 3-D printing/scanning for it would probably be for architectuaral purposes because it would make it way easier and faster to finish big projects.

  • Cal Moore

    I would use 3-D mapping to excite my life and make it more fun. I would also use 3-D mapping to put my daily routine into a different perspective. “Let’s say you’re tired of the furniture in your bedroom. Using your Tango-enabled smartphone, you could create a 3-D map of your room (Derek Lartaud).” You could go online and design your room however you want it, and then when you decide what type of room you want to go with. If I wanted to change my whole room into a whole new design I could go online and pick a new couch for example and 3-D print it on the old couch and see if it looks good. The cool thing is it is all done on your phone or mobile device. An example of 3-D printing would be that if you moved into a new house you could see what you wanted in the interior, where you wanted to put certain things or get rid of things you don’t really care for, that idea came from the article ( Interior Mapping Camera Will Make A 3-D Model Of Your Home). When 3-D printing is an actual reality for smartphones in the future I am going to have a lot of fun with it.

  • alexis leonard

    Alexis Leonard

    3-D Mapping and New Technology

    Today’s society is advancing into the future a lot faster than ever expected, we have come so far in the last couple of decades it’s just crazy. I have grown up seeing movies about the future and what it was going to be like, I can tell you we have gotten pretty close to what I have always imagined. Now they are working on 3-D mapping and 3-D virtual reality right on your phone. It sounds like something right out of those childhood movies I was talking about but it is now reality which is amazing. Think if we are able to map the insides of buildings they could be used for search and rescue missions after earthquakes, fires, flooding and many other things. But this advancement would be so useful and could save so many lives. (http://ww2.kqed.org/education/2016/01/19/how-would-you-use-3-d-mapping-technology/) This technology is so advanced it takes so much just to even understand how it works there are so many things and elements put into this it is hard to explain but to put it in simpler words that are a little easier to understand: the software analyses two images of a building’s façade that were taken from different positions. For each piece of image information, each pixel in an image, it searches for the corresponding element in the other. From these two points and from the camera’s known position and viewing angle, the software can determine how far each picture element is from the device and can use this information to generate a 3D model of the object. (http://phys.org/news/2016-01-d-entire-mobile-devices.html)

    It is hard to understand but once read enough you will begin to understand what it is saying. But what I am getting from all of this is our world is changing every day and we struggle to even keep up with it but that is just how it goes. When this advancement in technology is ready for use I bet I will use and enjoy it and I can’t wait to try it. But for now I will wait to hear about what’s next because something is always changing the question I ask is will you be able to keep up with this changing world or will you be lost in the dust of all the new?

  • Richard Mayfield

    In the video “3-D Mapping Your World with a Backpack”, it gives many examples of how 3-D mapping has provided a positive effect on our lives. It shows how Google uses 3-D mapping for Google Earth and how video games have increased in realism due to realistic maps made with 3-D mapping technology. Dr. Zakhor a leading engineer at the University of California Berkeley developed a 3-D mapping backpack that allows 3-D mapping of the inside of buildings. She envisioned her backpack being used in search and rescue to map out partially collapsed buildings in order to help rescuers find trapped survivors. In the article “3D mapping of entire buildings with mobile devices” professors and students in Zurich are using technology that is, “based on comparing multiple images, which are taken on the tablet by a camera with a fisheye lens, and uses the principle of triangulation”. This allows the professors to walk around the perimeter of a building and get a very accurate 3-D image of it. According to the article “Interior Mapping Camera Will Make a 3-D Model of Your Home”, a Silicon Valley start-up company is creating technology that,”can scan, compile, and make cloud-ready a 3-D model of your house, all in about 45 minutes”. This is amazing technology because it would allow anyone to create an accurate image of their house in order to do home improvement projects or other things that could use a map as a tool. If I had this type of technology I would most likely 3-D map architectural projects in order to get them done quicker and better.

  • Alexis Girard

    How would I use 3D mapping? I wouldn’t. I don’t need to see a 3D version of my house or a building. I only need directions on how to get there. The only way 3D mapping would be useful for me would be if it could show me the house and how big the inside is, because I only ever use a map to find where parties are and it would be cool if I could see how big the house is because the bigger the house the bigger the party.

    However it would be really cool to be able to look up places I would like to go and see a 3D version of it. “and with user’s permission, you could go into the houses and buildings and then have a full 3D view of the world,”(Stockton 2013). After I read that it made me think of how cool it would be to look up places and almost feel like you’re there. It was also said in the article that you could have a 3D version of your room and you could put 3D furniture in your room to see how it would look.

    3D mapping would be awesome to have but I don’t think people would use it that much.

  • Jake Giuliana

    I would use the 3-D mapping technology for better understanding crime. According to the video, the technology used is similar to what is used for google maps. Satellites are also used to map out a particular area (Lartaud 1). If an area were mapped out in high detail like google maps does, cops would be able to respond quicker and more efficiently to crimes. Ambulances would also be able to respond quicker to citizens in need. New technology from Matterport is allowing us to 3-D map even our homes (Stockton 1). This tech would allow us to locate exactly where crimes are happening and where people need help. This technology may be more readily accessible than you think. This technology is now available on your smartphone or tablet. “An infra-red camera captures the projected image of the grid and uses this to generate a three-dimensional map of the object.”(Bergamin 1). If we can begin to harness this technology and make it more accessible, we may be able to drive crime rates down and help more people in need.

  • Joe Bee

    3-D mapping is when you take a scan of an area an d turn it into a map in the 3rd dimension, like google maps and google earth. Currently 3-D mapping is not used all that much, either in Google’s websites and video games, But Dr. Avideh Zakhor is creating a device to 3-D map the inside of buildings. This has been a struggle for people to create something that could do that since 3-D mapping technology uses satellite tech to locate its self in the map it creates. “Dr. Avideh Zakhor, an engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, and her graduate students were able to create a backpack that could produce fast and realistic 3-D maps of indoor environments and track location. Using cameras, laser scanners, and specialized computer software, the backpack could SLAM really well.” (Derek Lartaud, 1-19-16) The SLAM (the backpack) is intended to aid in search and rescue but 3-D mapping has other uses, like mapping the surface of planets this system is called LIDAR and uses lasers rather than cameras “The satellite uses a series of regular pulses, by recording and combining these measurements scientists can use the instrument to map out the terrain”( PBS learning media http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/npe11.sci.phys.energy.lidarmap/lidar-3d-mapping/) Or like Alex Okita who is a Spatial Interaction Engineer and he helps computers map out certain objects. “Today, Alex is a spatial interaction engineer. He teaches computers to see like we see, allowing computers to understand and interact with the real, 3-D world. He works for San Francisco-based tech company Occipital, where he designs and develops games and applications for the Structure Sensor, a small device that attaches to an iPad that can 3-D scan rooms, objects and even people.” (Derek Lartaud, http://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2015/11/23/career-spotlight-spatial-interaction-engineer/)But I think I would use the technology differently I would use it to map out the human body. I mean just think about it, if you could know where every single organ, every single artery was. Maybe you wouldn’t need to cut off so much when removing a tumor. Or you could see where someone has a clogged artery. Those are just some ideas of what you could do with 3-D mapping tech. Video games, Mapping Earth, mapping other planets. Or even someone’s body. What would you do with 3-D mapping?

  • collin welham

    Collin W

    I feel there are many reasons 3-D mapping is useful. But when
    it comes to being life changing for me I don’t believe so. If the models were
    made available online the thing that would interest me is to see what inside
    concert venues looked like before going.
    It would have been nice to know what I was getting myself into when agreeing
    to go to a show at the masonic temple. “Let’s say you’re tired of the furniture
    in your bedroom. Using your Tango-enabled smartphone, you could create a 3-D
    map of your room. Then you could hop on the internet and take different pieces
    of furniture that have also been 3-D mapped and “virtually” place them in your
    room, giving you an idea of how the furniture fits in your space before buying
    it.” This process of adding digital layers of information on top of the
    physical world is referred to as augmented reality.( Learn More About 3-D Mapping Interior Spaces). This is another good one. Could be very beneficial
    to see what you can fit in a space before buying it and it being to late. I see
    3-D mapping becoming very big!

  • Brendan Smith

    KQED

    I would use 3-D
    mapping technology for combatting crime. For example in a hostage situation the
    technology could be used to more effectively extract the victim in the
    situation. According to the video, a small robot could be used to enter the
    building and take a 3-D map of the interior of the building (Lartuad 1). This
    technology could save many lives and deter criminals from attempting these
    actions.

    The technology
    could also be used for vehicles. Cars could become self-driving with the use of
    this technology. “… the
    technology could be integrated into cars to allow them to automatically detect
    the edge of the road, for example, or the dimensions of a parking space” (Bergamin
    1). This could be revolutionary, as it could save lives in this case as well if
    the technology is advanced enough. It would eliminate human error on the roads
    and prevent car crashes.

    This technology can also be
    used as a new way to communicate with friends that may be far away. According
    to Matt Bell, CEO of MatterPort, “We’re moving
    towards a world where people can send 3-D realities to each other,” (Stockton
    1). This could be great for communicating with family or friends in a different
    way.

  • Charles Wilson

    Three dimensional mapping technology
    could be very useful for architects or students for various projects and
    researching. They could draw inspiration from other buildings just by, “completing
    a leisurely walk around a structure, keeping the device’s camera pointed at the
    building’s façade,” (Bergamin 2016), and create 3-D models with, “One advantage
    is that it can be used in sunlight,”(Bergamin 2016). Also, it can be used by
    interior designers since they can, “…hop on the internet and take different pieces
    of furniture that have also been 3-D mapped and ‘virtually’ place them in your
    room…” (Lartaud 2016). And be able to, “…track location indoors,” (Lartaud
    2016).

  • Orion Brill

    KQED

    Technology, as we know it, is getting too scarily close to “The Matrix” for my liking. You know? One day, we get 3-D Mapping o our phones, the next day we get intelligent robots, the next day, the robots invade, and we become the machines. This is a particularly scary thought, considering this may have already happened, and we don’t know it. As the scientist Avideh Zakhor said, “Mapping something that took 30-40 minutes can take 20 seconds now.”(Video) The terrifying future becomes even more terrifying with this invention, but we march on through it all, as we’ve done in the past.

  • Tilly Koboski

    If I had the capability to use 3-D mapping on my smart phone I would use it to map individual rooms and design my own house. “This fall, MatterPort is releasing a camera that can scan, compile, and make cloud-ready a 3-D model of your house, all in about 45 minutes” (Wired). I think that with the capability to 3-D map rooms you would be able to make your dream house and then eventually you would be able to make it come to life. “In 2016, google will release Project Tango so you can 3-D map on your smart phone” (Quest Science Video). It will soon become way more accessible to map whatever you want. Now the 3-D maps are more detailed so everything is much more interesting. “Long gone are the days when the models were restricted to the outlines of buildings and basic features such as window openings and doorways. Instead, they now even show architectural details such as the arrangement of bricks in a stone façade” (Phys). With the new technology I would be finding myself taking detailed maps of rooms and putting them all together to make the dream house I’ve always wanted.

  • Taylor Bentley

    How would you use 3D mapping technology? You can use the technology in many ways, like the backpack in the video. You can take all the mind of that backpack and change how big it is, the size, and also the shape. You can use it for little kids. Road trips would have to be a really great thing when you have that. You can find lost kids if you put the smaller version inside their backpack. (http://ww2.kqed.org/education/2016/01/19/how-would-you-use-3-d-mapping-technology/) If you invest in this, then you can build houses so much easier. It measures the dimensions of every room. You can also see and visualize how the house will be, if you already built it, how it will be if you renovate it or change where something like the cabinet or even the sink. (http://www.wired.com/2013/07/matterport/)

  • Melissa Ann Myers

    Three –D mapping would be really helpful so when people are
    in buildings trapped they would be found a lot easier. The video mentioned how
    we only used three d things for movies and games. In the world of digital
    mapping, simultaneous localization and mapping—slam—is the method of
    constructing a map while simultaneously keeping track of location within the
    map without the use of GPS. If a digital device can SLAM, that means that it
    can track location indoors. Three –d mapping would be just like having hound
    dogs helping people get out of buildings safe. Project Tango devices can use
    visual cues to help recognize the world around them. They can self-correct
    errors in motion tracking and relocalize in areas they’ve seen before. With the
    Structure Sensor, the future is in your hands. Rapid 3D scanning of objects and
    people, 3D maps of interior spaces, and mixed reality experiences where fantasy
    becomes impossible to tell from reality.

  • Travis Johnson

    I think that the 3-D modelling technology makes it possible to have layouts to
    video games be very accurate. From the video, you can see that 3-D modelling
    technology is coming to our phones. It would be a way to play games with the
    structures around you. So you can walk around and play a video game, it is very
    advanced. But it is not for games but also useful purposes. From Wired.com Interior
    Mapping Will Make A 3-D Model of Your Home, they state how with mobile devices,
    we can get a 3-d map look of our homes. It can be used for how much carpet
    should be bought, how to change the layout of your home.

  • matthew osterberg

    Personally
    I don’t think I would use 3-D mapping technology,
    but I do think it can be very useful in many ways. Besides making cool video
    game graphics, 3-D mapping can be used by the military and other organizations
    around the world. This new technology has the possibility to save many lives.
    Mapping out a building that has hostages or terrorists can make soldiers jobs a
    lot easier to accomplish a mission. Dr. Zakhor even said that the 3-D mapping
    backpack will be used for search and rescue missions. The problem is that you
    have to walk through the building to map the interior. If we can develop satellites
    that can go through walls, then we will benefit from 3-D mapping.

  • Faith Graham

    Three dimensional mapping technology could be very helpful for interior designers or architects and students for researching and learning.
    By, “completing a leisurely walk around a structure, keeping the device’s camera pointed at the building’s façade,” (Bergamin 2016) you could have a full 3D map of a building. You could then use that map for inspiration and learning for architects. “One advantage is that it can be used in sunlight,”(Bergamin 2016). Also, it can be used by interior designers because they can, “…hop on the internet and take different pieces of furniture that have also been 3-D mapped and ‘virtually’ place them in your room…” (Lartaud 2016). Then they have maps and virtual rooms for inspiration or work. Another advantage is you will be able to, “…track location indoors,” (Lartaud 2016). You wouldn’t have to go into the building to know what the inside is like. This could be good for police, or other things like that.

  • Lily Kingma

    Over the years technology has increased exponentially. Scientists have now developed new ways to create more realistic video games and are working on a new system for search and rescue purposes. This new way is called 3-D mapping. With 3-D mapping, scientists and video game creators are able to map the inside of a building to make the players “feel like you are really there”. (Quest Science Video) Not only can this be used for video games, but as I mentioned before scientists are also using it for search and rescue. They have basically created a backpack that allows satellites “to use reflected laser pulses to measure the distance between the instrument on board a satellite and the surface of the planet” (NASA LIDAR) to map the inside of a building. If they use this for search and rescue they’d be able to help people in need after a natural disaster. If my smart phone could work like this backpack I would use it for interior design purposes. I would map the inside of all the houses I like and then use bits and pieces from each house to create my own. “Using visual cues rather than geometric coordinates lightens the processing load and makes it so the users don’t have to learn any complicated systems.”(Wired) With this technology it makes it easier to build a house and leaves a smaller margin for error. I think with this new technology it would help out a lot with everyday occurrences, and make harder situations easier.

  • Willow Ashley

    With technology rapidly increasing, scientists are
    finding new ways to use 3-D mapping. Over the years, they have started to use
    the same technology for video games, as they are for 3-D mapping the interior
    of a building. They use this technology for video games to make you “feel like
    you are there” (Quest Science Video).

    The Army has started to use 3-D mapping to map the
    interior of buildings, so that when they go on search and rescue missions, they
    know where they are going and they know every nook and cranny of the house or
    building they are going into. They are starting to use it for mapping of your
    house too. “This fall, MatterPort is releasing a camera that can
    scan, compile, and make cloud-ready a 3-D model of your house, all in about 45
    minutes” (Wired). This means that you can send the floor plan of your house to
    friends. Or if you are a real estate agent, you could send floor plans of a
    house to future buyers. There is also new information from Google, saying that
    they are coming up with a program that will let you 3-D map with your phone.
    This means that anyone can either play 3-D virtual games on their phones, or
    map their house from their phone.

    NASA is now using the same technology to map
    planets. With this technology, they can “build a 3-D model of the planet’s terrain” (PBS). This
    would be a huge improvement and it will allow us to be able to know just how
    the planets are laid out.

    For me, though, I
    would use it to map my house probably. If I was interested in this sort of
    field, I would try and help the Army or the local law and safety map the
    interior of buildings. If a city were to do this, after a natural disaster,
    they would know the lay outs of different houses and they could lay out a plan
    of attack before entering blindly. I think that this technology is really fascinating,
    but I would probably only use it to fool around.

  • Carly Rasper

    How would I use 3D mapping
    technology? I am not a technological person, and I have no interest in things
    like that, so I probably wouldn’t. I do know people who would use them however,
    and if I were one of those people I would use it to map my room, and I would
    play video games and my room would be the setting. The video said that in 2016
    Google is going to come out with an app that will let you take a 3D video of a
    room and use it to play video games. The article Interior Mapping Camera will make a 3-D model of your home says that
    we are moving towards a world where we can send 3-D realities to each other. I
    think that would be cool because I could play video games with my friends and
    my room would be the setting. Another article called 3D Mapping of an Entire Building says, “An infra-red camera
    captures the projected image of the grid and uses this to generate a three dimensional
    map of the object. ‘This technique works well indoors.’” That would work well
    in mapping my room.

  • Emily Matz

    I think it would be so cool if you could create 3D mapping on your phone and then create it into video games yourself. The things you could create would be unlimited. Dr. Zakhor and her students created a 3D mapping backpack at the request of the military to use for search and rescue missions according to 3D Mapping The World With a Backpack by Derek Lartaud. So they could see the interior of buildings,which google is going to create a phone that can do that, then you could turn it into a video game on the phone. That just blows my mind. I love playing video games, so being able to play a rpg/sandbox game on your phone without having to play online with other people would be awesome. I’m sure the phone would cost a ton of money to buy though. Unfortunately, because the tablet uses infrared rays to capture the buildings, the sunlight can interfere with the capturing since the sun also contains components of infrared, according to PHYS.org, 3-D Mapping of Entire Buildings with mobile devices. So you would have to make sure not to map buildings while the sun was out. But now there is also a structure sensor, a 3d mapping device you can connect to the ipad and create and play your own video games, according to KQED.org. That is just so cool. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Minecraft was a video game that gave a ton of power to the player by allowing the player to create and build their own castles, homes, towns, or whatever and then of course it had the wild animals and zombies and other fun monsters to fight or protect your buildings from. Now you can create your own virtual world literally with your own hands and things you see in real life.

  • Alliyah Pontiac

    3-D modeling is a big deal. Anything is possible with this kind of technology. With this technology I would remodel things, without even doing it in person. I could make a swamp into a castle. From http://www.wired.com. the article Interior Mapping Camera Will Make a 3-D Model of Your Home, has stated that there is a camera that can scan your surroundings. With this being said, someone could remodel a home. With this preview of modeling, you won’t have to waste money for what you don’t want. The second thing I would do is make a new world from we live in. A word drafted from what we already have. It’s basically what I stated though. From Phys.org’s article, 3D mapping of entire buildings with mobile devices. The article states how can create an entire building with 3-D mapping. The the whole idea of 3-D mapping is a game designer’s best friend. With this anyone can explore places where they have never been before.

  • Philip schaub

    I think that 3-D mapping technology could be used to help out with law enforcement. They can use this technology to help find where a criminal could be hiding or where they are located in a building. In the video it said that they would have to go inside the building to map them all out because the satellites can’t go through the walls of the building, but when they have all of the maps of these buildings, it has the potential to be very helpful to law enforcement. This technology isn’t quite there yet, but it is on the way. In the article written by Nick Stockton, he said “Because the camera can’t see through furniture, it needs to be moved to make sure there aren’t any disturbing vortexes left behind.”(Stockton) It would require a lot of cooperation from the homeowners to help get all of these buildings mapped, but in the end I feel that it would be well worth it. There is a company coming out with a version that will let you 3-D map on your smart phone. “A large computer manufacturer recently announced its intention to put a smartphone with the Google Tango technology platform on the market this coming summer. (Bergamin) This could ensure the safety of law enforcement going into a house with a dangerous criminal hiding in there. Overall, I feel that this 3-D mapping technology could be very beneficial.

  • Trevor Wilson

    I believe that 3-D mapping technology would be a great thing for our society. We
    could use it to go on virtual walkthroughs through famous landmarks. This would
    be a good tool for education because it would teach students about the interior
    of buildings in a fun way. According to the video, GPS can’t be used inside, so
    new technology would need to be used in order for this to be possible. This is
    where the camera that Nick Stockton described in his article Interior Mapping Camera Will Make a 3-D
    Model of Your Home comes in. This camera uses visual data to map out a
    room, which is helpful for furniture placement and other useful things.

    A problem that could arise with this technology could be privacy. People love
    their privacy, and this technology would definitely make some people
    uncomfortable. Although some people may be upset, I believe that this
    technology could improve the way we teach our students, along with many other
    things. The positive aspects of this near-future technology far outweigh the
    negatives, and I think it could change the way we see 3-D technology.

  • Alex Dewey

    Although 3D mapping technology has many uses, if I had access to 3D mapping technology I honestly wouldn’t use it that much. I probably would use it a couple of times when I’m bored, but that’s about it. Sure, I could use it to rearrange my bedroom, but I could also do that by actually moving the furniture around. But just because I wouldn’t use this technology that much, I think 3D mapping could be very useful for architects or interior designers because it would enable them to further improve their projects. Other than that, I don’t see why an everyday person would use this type of technology very often.

  • Buddy Gray

    I wouldn’t use 3-D mapping for much, but one reason I can
    find plausible is for building layouts. Building layouts can be used for military
    purposes, natural disaster happenings, and criminal justice apprehensions.

    3-D imaging has used the same technology as google earth,
    along with help from satellite imagining from space (KQED video). These advancements
    in technology could also lead to military uses. Helping map out a building before
    you take it over would be extremely helpful and could lead to faster and easier
    missions.

    Along with that, it could be used for when things such as hurricanes
    hit in the gulf, on a search and rescue in a flooded home, or if an apartment building
    just went up in flames, having a 3-D layout of the buildings would be extremely
    useful.

    Also say you have a potential drug lord operating out of a
    warehouse, sending in a little 3-D imaging robot to map out the building and
    strategically place your men to apprehend the suspect, could lead to a lot and
    easier cases solved.

    Although I don’t quite see the practicality for use in
    things such as video games (WIRED.com), 3-D mapping could be useful for some
    things that could make lives easier and even save some. From the smallest of
    things such as google earth, for recreation, 3-D printing could make its way to
    ranks of NASA of could further advancements of mapping of other planets (PBS),
    which who knows, may be useful to everyone someday.

    But as of right now, I don’t quite see the usefulness for
    me, and the expensive pricing strongly steers me away from using 3-D mapping
    anytime soon.

  • Leah Boucher

    I would use 3-D mapping technology on my phone for creating realistic pictures in any setting I am in. I would love to be able to travel to many places and have all of the images I see on my phone at all times. In the article 3D Mapping Entire Buildings with Mobile Devices, it says, “If they view a building ‘through’ their tablet, additional information about the building can be displayed instantly on the screen.” This would enable me to learn even more information about the places I tour. This is absolutely incredible especially because my memory is the size of a pea. In the video titled 3-D Mapping your World with a Backpack, Avideh Zakhor states, “something that could take 30-40 minutes is now taking 20 seconds.” In this society, time is essential and sacred. This technology helps save time and energy along with retaining more information than you originally could in that short amount of time. Although this technology takes away the personal relationships we can create through interacting with people about touring and the history of buildings and places, it saves time. And time is a very valued factor in this day and age. This technology also creates a lifetime realistic memory of places you visit, which is something you couldn’t have any other way. For these reasons, I would use 3-D mapping technology for touring places and retaining very realistic information about the places I go.

  • Makenna Smith

    3D mapping is evolving like many things in our modern world. The future is right
    at our finger tips, but how close? Dr. Avideh Zakor of University of
    California, Berkeley is working hard to get 3D mapping to a whole new level. By
    obtaining and organizing 3D mapping data, such as that used by google maps, Dr.
    Zakor explains the many uses for 3D mapping (2016, KQED). Mapping of an
    interior space for military rescue missions and the obvious video games are
    just a glimpse into what the future of 3D mapping entails. The end goal of these
    technological advances is not however just for fun and games. With companies
    such as matter port try and sell a virtual reality to help the general public. “We’re
    moving towards a world where people can send 3-D realities to each other,” says
    CEO Matt Bell, however with a $3,000 price point the market of potential buyers
    is slim (2016, wired.com). It takes just 10 minutes to digitize a building (2016, phys.org). While sticker shock is a factor, this efficient
    process may prove beneficial. I believe that the technology if used by the right
    people and for a practical purpose could be very successful. With such a steep price manufacturers should target
    companies and corporations who cannot afford it, but benefit from it! The
    military could use for search and rescue missions. Large office buildings, malls,
    and banks could be scanned for safety purposes as well. We are looking at the
    future of search and rescue.

  • Wesley Wilson

    I would use it to map the entire world. In KQED, Derek Lartaud has made a backpack that could map the inside of buildings.(KQED, 2016). They could also use this technology to map the inside of caves and other areas that a satellite cannot reach. They could improve on this through time. A company, named MatterPort, is releasing a camera that can “scan, compile, and make cloud-ready a 3-D model of your house, all in about 45 minutes.” (wired, 2013).

    There are more than just that though, a group of people are also working on doing it through a mobile device. The device could be used in sunlight, rather than having it to be dark out and using infrared lights.

    The technology could also “integrate into cars to allow them to automatically detect the edge of the road, or dimensions of a parking space.” (phys.org, 2016).

  • Taylor west

    Much
    of the architecture would find 3D mapping useful, 3D mapping is useful for like
    it was used in the video graduate students were able to create a backpack that
    could produce fast and realistic 3-D maps of indoor environments and track location.
    I would use the 3D mapping in vehicles, for it could be helpful while driving
    and parking. “Furthermore, the technology could be integrated into cars to
    allow them to automatically detect the edge of the road, for example, or the
    dimensions of a parking space” (3-D Mapping of
    Entire Buildings with mobile devices). I would also use 3D mapping because I think it’s
    really neat and interesting how it works, such as, “And with user’s permission,
    you could go into the houses and buildings and then have a full 3-D view of the
    world”, (Interior Mapping
    Camera Will Make a 3-D Model of Your Home) 3D mapping just intrigues me
    and how professors are able to make it work.

  • Harrison

    I figure 3d mapping would be most useful in many things but probably the most useful would be for building/ assisting in building an array of things. Though I would go the other direction. It would be neat that if in the future we have mastered the technology and you could use this to simplify destroying buildings. With three dimensional mapping it would be way easier to walk around a building to locate its points of structure and support and effectively use explosives, thus saving time on blueprint checking and math, as said in an article by Wired author Nick Stockton, “the DSLR-sized camera uses the same depth sensor as the Microsoft Kinect to create its digital models. Using visual cues rather than geometric coordinates lightens the processing load and makes it so the users don’t have to learn any complicated systems.” As simple as that. I do feel this level of technology will take time, but hope to see it in the near future.

  • jamie wilson

    I would use the 3-D mapping technology for games on my
    phone, but the backpack can be used to create games. These games would be
    realistic beyond all means, and also Dr. Zakhor said that one person is using
    hers for search and rescue. It seems to be very useful to us as far as we can
    tell, we could also do something called SLAM with our smartphones, says google
    will introduce an app called project tango. This is letting you have a 3-D
    effect of the room you are in and allowing you to play games too; I think this
    is a really good step towards the future

    Cite; January 19, 2016

  • hannah jorgensen

    Third dimensional mapping technology is beneficial to new and existing problems. Third dimensional mapping technology can be used to find escape routes in buildings that may be on fire or collapsing. According to Derek Lartaud from the video 3D mapping with your backpack says that mapping indoors is much harder than mapping outdoors. Indoors you are blocked from the satellites that can pin point your exact location. With the 3D backpack it can map the indoors without the satellites. NASA is doing something similar but instead of mapping buildings they are mapping planets. According to the video NASA/LIDAR 3D mapping they use reflected laser pulses to measure the distance between the instrument on board the satellite and the surface of the planet. NASA may not be using 3D mapping in the same ways as we will be able to when Google releases project tango, which allows you to see 3D mapping through your phones, but that just shows you that there are many ways to use 3D mapping that we don’t know about or haven’t heard of yet. What I would do with third dimensional mapping would be to help find and rescue people from earthquakes or fires or any other disaster the occurs.

  • Cal Moore

    I would use 3-D mapping
    to excite my life and make it more fun. I would also use 3-D mapping to put my
    daily routine into a different perspective. “Let’s say you’re tired of the
    furniture in your bedroom. Using your Tango-enabled smartphone, you could create
    a 3-D map of your room (Derek Lartaud).” You could go online and design
    your room however you want it, and then when you decide what type of room you
    want to go with. If I wanted to change my whole room into a whole new design I
    could go online and pick a new couch for example and 3-D print it on the old
    couch and see if it looks good. The cool thing is it is all done on your phone
    or mobile device. An example of 3-D printing would be that if you moved into a
    new house you could see what you wanted in the interior, where you wanted to
    put certain things or get rid of things you don’t really care for, that idea
    came from the article (Interior Mapping Camera Will Make 3-D Model of Your
    Home). When 3-D printing is an actual reality for smartphones in the future I
    am going to have a lot of fun with it. 3-D mapping is a vertual way to see
    things differently; an example of 3-D mapping would be if I wanted to build a
    house on a piece of land. I would find houses online and I would find one to
    put on the land and I would look through my phone or cellualer device and the
    the image would pop up on the piece of land and I could see what I wanted to do
    with it before I even build the house. 3-D mapping would be very helpful for
    many different occupations, a couple of examples would be a contractor, and
    they could use it to build or move whatever they wanted. Another example would
    be renevators, they could use 3-D mapping to see what they wanted to do to
    renevate a house or a building. 3-D mapping is helpful in so many ways, it is
    also couild be helpful on how to plan a rescue mission. Doctor Zakhor tells us
    how she used her 3-D mapping backpack to do it. “Dr. Zakhor initially
    envisioned her backpack being used for search and rescue. First responders,
    armed with her 3-D mapping backpack, could enter collapsed buildings and 3-D
    map it, allowing subsequent rescue teams to better plan rescue missions. It
    also shows promise in other areas, like real estate, where you could walk
    through a house with the backpack to record the layout, and energy audits of
    buildings, where you could equip the backpack with an infrared camera to
    measure heat loss. (Derek Lartaud)” 3-D mapping is used in so
    many helpful ways, it can be used for a number of things because it is such a
    helpful tool that everyone can use if they have a smartphone or some sort of
    cellular device.

Author

Derek Lartaud

Derek Lartaud came to the Bay Area after nearly five years of researching schizophrenia and diabetes at Yale University. Determined to tell visual stories, he’s worked for the BBC, Al Jazeera America, TIME, PBS, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. He has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a master’s degree in journalism. When not holding a camera or editing a story, he’s trying to rebuild his 1969 Honda CL350.

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