I’m starting the OpenStreetView.io project, a collaborative 360° street view imagery project, in which I will put a significant amount of energy. I believe that street view photography is something necessary, more than just a fancy addon (e.g. see that story about the Strava users).
I believe that until now, there was 2 major hurdles in any street view initiative:
- Lack of affordable 360° cameras
- Lack of scalable storage in a non-profit environment
I believe that recent technology will overcome these 2 hurdles:
- 360° cameras are becoming affordable. I recently acquired a 360° camera, and the quality is quite good! In a place I tested, the quality was not as good as the quality of Googe imagery, but better than Bing.
- Decentralized cloud storage systems are coming: StorJ, IPFS. The idea would be to run our own instance of a decentralized cloud storage, with people donating hardware space, and let part of monetary donations be automatically redirected to storage donors (StorJ/Ethereum/…).
All this project would remain strictly on a non-profit basis, i.e. no VC funds or whatever.
This project would remain strictly on 360° street/path view photography, i.e. no traditional pictures.
I need to look into it, but imagery licence would stay as close as possible to the spirit of OSM.
The very first hacking is being viewable at www.openstreetview.io, code being at github.com/nand2/osv-frontend.
The short term goal (end Q1) is to be ready to take contributions, and to have a part of Paris (one or two arrondissements) fully mapped.
I will keep posting updates over here.