Trying out Google PhotoScan

Today Google came out with a new app called Pho­to­Scan that will scan your old pho­to col­lec­tion. Like just every­one, I have stash­es of shoe­box­es inher­it­ed from par­ents full of pic­tures. Some were scanned in a scan­ner, back when I had one that was com­pat­i­ble with a com­put­er. More recent­ly, I’ve used scan­ning apps like Readdle’s Scan­ner Pro and Scan­bot. These de-skew the pho­tographs of the pho­tos that your phone takes but the resolution’s is not always the best and there can be some glare from over­head lights, espe­cial­ly when you’re work­ing with a glossy orig­i­nal pictures.

Google’s approach clev­er­ly stitch­es togeth­er mul­ti­ple pho­tos. It uses a process much like their 360-degree pho­to app: you start with a overview pho­to. Once tak­en, you see four cir­cles hov­er­ing to the sides of the pic­ture. Move the cam­era to each and it takes more pic­tures. Once you’ve gone over all four cir­cles, Google stitch­es these five pho­tos togeth­er in such a way that there’s no per­spec­tive distortion.

What’s remark­able is the speed. I scanned 15 pho­tos in while also mak­ing din­ner for the kids. The dimen­sions of all looked good and the res­o­lu­tion looks about as good as the orig­i­nal. These are good results for some­thing so easy.

Check out Google’s announce­ment blog post for details.

Quick scans from an envelope inherited from my mom.


My long-running blog over at http://​quak​er​ran​ter​.org has been out of the loop for awhile. I don’t often have the time for long-form blog­ging. The style of clas­sic blog­ging feels less imme­di­ate nowa­days: Face­book, Google Plus, Tum­blr, etc. are eas­i­er to post to and get more respons­es. The imme­di­a­cy of the social net­works pro­vides mini ego boosts. The staff at the hos­pi­tal where my daugh­ter Lau­ra was born last week invit­ed me to bring my cam­era phone into the oper­at­ing room to take pic­tures of the new one. The hos­pi­tal had pub­lic wifi so it was just a click of a but­ton to share it to Face­book. I was receiv­ing my first rounds of aww’s and con­grat­u­la­tions before my wife has even been stitched up.

But being an ear­ly blog­ger (start­ing near­ly a decade before Face­book became an open net­work), I know that the most influ­en­tial posts took months and even years to make a dif­fer­ence. It’s not very rev­o­lu­tion­ary to find out your friends are your friends, which is 90% of Face­book com­men­tary. Per­son­al change hap­pe­na when you meet some­one new; cul­tur­al change hap­pens when you’re exposed to peo­ple whose ideas are new to you. On the inter­net that hap­pens at two in the morn­ing when you won­der whether any­one has made a con­nec­tion between two ideas obsess­ing you – the unex­pect­ed results in a Google search can change how you under­stand the world. It can starts you down the path of a new self-identity. It doesn’t mat­ter if the post is a cou­ple of years old: what mat­ters is that it’s speak­ing to the spir­i­tu­al con­di­tion of that searcher. 

I know this (and I’ve writ­ten about it before) but I still tend toward short social media posts. So I’m going to inte­grate my Google Plus account with my WordPress-powered blog at Quak​er​ran​ter​.org. I’m pick­ing Google Plus because it’s where I’ve found myself writ­ing the more thought­ful bits and pieces. A neat Word­Press plug in called Google Plus Blog (link below) will help the integration.

Embed­ded Link

The Google+ mus­ings of Daniel Treadwell
Google+ Blog Con­cept — Daniel Tread­well. View your Google+ Posts in the form of a clean and sim­ple blog. Also home of the Google+Blog Word­Press plugin. 

SOPA would likely cause far more damage than it’s worth, keep the internet free…

SOPA would like­ly cause far more dam­age than it’s worth, keep the inter­net free from cor­po­rate cen­sor­ship. #sopa #inter­net

Reshared post from +Sergey Brin

In just two decades, the world wide web has trans­formed and democ­ra­tized access to infor­ma­tion all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played along­side many oth­ers such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twit­ter. Whether you are a stu­dent in an inter­net café in the devel­op­ing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowl­edge of the world is at your fingertips.

Of course, offer­ing these ser­vices has come with its chal­lenges. Mul­ti­ple coun­tries have sought to sup­press the flow of infor­ma­tion to serve their own polit­i­cal goals. At var­i­ous times notable Google web­sites have been blocked in Chi­na, Iran, Libya (pri­or to their rev­o­lu­tion), Tunisia (also pri­or to rev­o­lu­tion), and oth­ers. For our own web­sites and for the inter­net as a whole we have worked tire­less­ly to com­bat inter­net cen­sor­ship around the world along­side gov­ern­ments and NGO pro­mot­ing free speech.

Thus, imag­ine my aston­ish­ment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none oth­er but the Unit­ed States. Two bills cur­rent­ly mak­ing their way through con­gress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US gov­ern­ment and copy­right hold­ers extra­or­di­nary pow­ers includ­ing the abil­i­ty to hijack DNS and cen­sor search results (and this is even with­out so much as a prop­er court tri­al). While I sup­port their goal of reduc­ing copy­right infringe­ment (which I don’t believe these acts would accom­plish), I am shocked that our law­mak­ers would con­tem­plate such mea­sures that would put us on a par with the most oppres­sive nations in the world.

This is why I signed on to the fol­low­ing open let­ter with many oth­er founders — http://​dq99alanzv66m​.cloud​front​.net/​s​o​p​a​/​i​m​g​/12 – 14-letter.pdf
See also: http://​amer​i​can​cen​sor​ship​.org/ and http://​enginead​vo​ca​cy​.org/

Embed­ded Link

http://​dq99alanzv66m​.cloud​front​.net/​s​o​p​a​/​i​m​g​/12 – 14-letter.pdf

Posted December 15th, 2011 , in Uncategorized Tagged ,

Occupy Philly as urban form http://​philadel​phi​a2050​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​1​1​/​p​h​o​t​opo…

Occu­py Philly as urban form http://​philadel​phi​a2050​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​1​1​/​p​h​o​t​o​p​o​s​t​-​o​c​c​u​p​y​-​p​h​i​l​l​y​-​a​s​-​s​p​o​n​t​a​n​e​o​u​s​.​h​tml

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