Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


OpenTrailView 360

FOSS StreetView for hikers

OpenTrailView is a project to create a StreetView-like application by walkers with contributors providing stitched 360-degree panoramas of locations on hiking trails. First discussed at State Of the Map Girona 2010, the project has been dormant for several years due to the high barrier of entry; at the time contributors had to manually stitch photos to produce a panorama using third-party stitching software. The recent availability of 360-degree cameras with auto-stitching has revived the author's interest in the project. This lightning talk will give technical details of the new version of OTV and outline initial work.

Google StreetView has for many years provided users with panoramic street views of much of the world. However Google only provide limited coverage of off-road areas and in any case, neither the system nor the panoramas themselves are Free or Open. In 2010, the author developed an initial version of OpenTrailView (OTV), a system designed to produce a StreetView-like experience for outdoor users, giving users an immersive preview of countryside areas before they visit them. The system attracted a fair amount of interest at the State Of The Map conference in Girona that year, however the need for users to manually stitch photos to produce panoramas meant the system had a high barrier to entry.

In 2013 a new version supported PhotoSpheres from Android devices, though this again gained limited contributor interest due to supporting that format only. Recently, however, 360 degree cameras have become mainstream, some of which perform auto-stitching of panoramas on the device. Thus, due to the potential lower barrier of entry to contributors, the author's interest in the project has been revived and it is proposed to restart work on the project. This lightning talk will give a technical overview of the new version of OTV and detail initial work and future plans. (Note that by the time of FOSDEM it is unlikely that there will be a fully working version, just an initial demo)


Nick Whitelegg