If you're one of the thousands of people who take and post photos of popular landmarks, you may be contributing to a fascinating experiment to generate long-form timelapses that span years.
At the Siggraph Conference in August, Google and the University of Washington will be presenting a new technology called Timelapse Mining from Internet Photos, which effectively turns the millions of photos of popular places into relatively polished timelapse videos by using an algorithm to model the spaces, stabilize the footage, and reduce flicker caused by light and weather changes.
Here's a video presentation of the new technology:
This technique is awesome because it allows us to view years upon years worth of change in a matter of seconds. There are a multitude of uses here, mostly relating to scientific study of nature and climate, but it's hard to deny that it's an aesthetically pleasing effect. Of course, this has been accomplished before (and at a higher quality) by determined and disciplined photographers, but this technology could vastly expand our ability to witness subtle changes in place and natural phenomena that would otherwise go unnoticed.
If you'd like to read about the science behind this experiment, check out this PDF from the University of Washington that explains the process in detail.