March 18, 2010
It will be years, decades, before humans explore Mars. Until then, we’ll just have to rely on robots and satellites. And talented 3D-animators.
Ellison constructed the 3D terrain model from comparison of pairs of NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE views taken from slightly different points of view. Advanced stereo-matching algorithms automatically combined features between the two images, and determined their relative elevations based upon how much they shift with the spacecraft’s perspective offset between orbits. He has set up a YouTube channel called MARS3DdotCOM with other visualizations. (The HiRISE team is now releasing digital terrain models that they produce in-house, so that anybody with 3D rendering software and some skill can try creating this sort of animation.)
(HT: Geeks Are Sexy)
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