Your GoPro shots could help map the world | Cult of Mac

Your GoPro shots could help map the world

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Part of a sunset sequence in the Antarctic.
Part of a sunset sequence in the Antarctic.
Photo: Mapillary

Those beautiful GoPro photos of your goofy travels on bike or skis may contain an unmapped part of the world.

In its quest to surpass Google in visual mapping, the app Mapillary earlier this month added GPS support to GoPro users who have the iOS version of the app.

GoPro’s are not equipped to capture GPS coordinates but photos shot with the popular action camera can now be geotagged when users control their cameras directly through the Mapillary app’s camera on their iPhone.

Devoted mappers have helped Mapillary put street-level eyes on about 1.2 million kilometers of the Earth. That sounds like a lot, but the Earth is a big place and a graphic showing that coverage can be found on the company’s homepage.

“We expect to surpass Google’s coverage in the next three years,” Mapillary CEO Jan Erik Solem told Cult of Mac, anticipating that GoPro users will rapidly fill in the rest of the world. “However, the job is never complete because the world is constantly changing and that’s part of what we’re mapping.”

Solem made his name as a machine vision expert, having sold his facial recognition company to Apple and then working for Apple for a few years before launching Mapillary for the iPhone in November 2013. An Android version was released a couple of months later (GoPro support for Android users is in the works).

Unlike Google, which uses trucks with special 360-degree cameras snapping pictures and it drives up and down the street, Mapillary is crowd-sourced mapping. The Mapillary website is a collection of virtual tours on everything from Louisiana bayous to a sunset in the Antarctic.

GoPro users with the iOS version of Mapillary can have their photos geotagged with the app.
GoPro users with the iOS version of Mapillary can have their photos geotagged with the app.
Photo: Mapillary

The Mapillary app records sequences of photos at 1.5 seconds apart. No road traveled is too boring to Mapillary, which lets you easily upload the files of your street-level view of the world.

An explanation on how GoPro users can record in the app is here on the Mapillary blog.