Though it's likely no surprise to people who follow me here on Google+, +Burt Lum and I featured my latest app obsession on +Hawaii News Now this morning: Photo Sphere Camera for iOS, now available for Apple devices (after being built into current Android cameras for a long time). We also talked about FireChat from +Open Garden, a messaging app that can work even without a data plan or Wi-Fi. Thanks as always to +Dan Cooke and the Sunrise team for letting us share our geekiness with Hawaii. #hawaii#photosphere#firechat#apps
Tomorrow morning on Hawaii News Now's "Sunrise" morning show, +Burt Lum and I will join +Dan Cooke and friends to talk about a couple of neat apps: Photo Sphere Camera from +Google Maps (part of Android and now available for iOS) and FireChat, the off-grid capable mesh-network building messaging app from from +Open Garden.
To test out the Photo Sphere app, I stopped by the studio this morning and created a 360-degree view while Grace Lee and Steve Uyehara were chatting with +Billy V. Check it out! #photosphere#hawaii
Hawaii News Now Studio
The main Hawaii News Now studio, located at 420 Waiakamilo Road, Suite 205, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817.
Using the Photo Sphere Camera app for iOS, I took a few photospheres around the Town Center of Mililani. Then, using the Google Maps 'Views' interface, I connected them into a 'Constellation.' I'm not sure if I'm doing it right, but sure enough, you can see directional markers in the panorama viewer that can take you to the next photosphere spot when you click on them.
A suburban shopping center isn't exactly an exciting subject, but it's a start!
Continuing to play with the Photo Sphere Camera app for iOS, which creates 360° panoramic images that are elegantly interactive and integrated with Google Maps. Still trying to figure out how to minimize minor stitching errors, and still struggling to remember to capture above and below the main view plane as well.
Already wishing the app and Views interface on the web were more social. Would love to see a stream of my contacts' photosphere creations and mark favorites that could be shown in another tab. What do you think, +Evan Rapoport… is this kind of stuff on the road map? #hawaii#honolulu#photosphere#pagoda
Pagoda Floating Restaurant
The Pagoda Floating Restaurant and teahouses are surrounded by koi ponds and a Japanese garden, a favorite venue for family gatherings and local events.
As much fun as it was experimenting around my office building, I knew I had to capture something a little more compelling. Before work this morning, I went down to Ala Moana Beach Park to make a few more.
+Evan Rapoport notes that a photosphere is 50 megapixels, and the image quality makes a huge difference (especially in full screen or on a large screen). Coupled with the iPhone 5s' great camera, and the possibilities are vast. Having these possibly appear on Google Maps is icing on the cake. Alas, in beautiful Hawaii, I'm going where many, many, many other photosphere creators have gone before.
I also like the 'Views' interface, from the photographer profile page to the photosphere viewer. I only just now noticed that each photosphere can have comments, too! Neat stuff.
Now that Google has released the Photosphere app for iOS, I thought I'd give it a shot. This is the view from atop the massive parking structure at Dole Cannery in Iwilei.
I love panoramic images and the way that computational photography is advancing so fast that images can be stitched almost as fast as you can tilt and pan.
First lesson learned is that the most visible stitching errors seem to occur where I started the panorama, so I might start by aiming at the least interesting view. Unfortunately, that point is also where the web viewer starts.
And, not surprisingly, nearby objects are much tougher to line up. My second Photosphere is entirely indoors, making for an interesting challenge:
Aaron Swartz was a co-founder of Reddit, developer of RSS (the backbone of serial web content), and an online organizer and activist (remember SOPA?). He took his own life at age 26. On Sept. 5, we'll be screening 'The Internet's Own Boy,' a documentary about Swartz and digital civil liberties. The next day, on Sept. 6, there'll be a discussion of the film and a workshop on open knowledge. #hawaii#opendata#openknowledge#aaronswartz
Screening of 'The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz' on Friday, Sept. 5th, at 6pm.
Discussion and workshop on Open Data/Open Knowledge to follow on Saturday, Sept. 6th, from 10am – 2pm.
'The Internet’s Own Boy' follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz's help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz's groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron's story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.
Is it an incredibly effective viral video campaign for a good cause? Or a ridiculous, vanity-driven fad? Regardless of the debate, when you're a teenager who is publicly called out by your friends, you must respond. At least, that's how my 16-year-old daughter +Katie Ozawa felt about the "Ice Bucket Challenge," spreading across Mililani High School as quickly as it's spreading across the globe.
With some help from her parents and youngest brother, she took the plunge in our driveway. And the family is still donating to the ALS Association. A fun way to cool off quick on a sunny Sunday afternoon!
In March, the first official Mini Maker Faire was held at the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership at 'Iolani School. Volunteers captured some interviews and video clips at the event,and the footage was recently made available. Of course, it won't be long before planning will get underway for the 2015 Honolulu Mini Maker Faire.
Video arrangements by Doug Jeffs, videography by Dan Isobe, editing by yours truly. Interviews include +Alan Solidum, +Jon Shear, Jennifer Higa, Kris Huntsman, Daniel Ben,+Keoni Maemori, and Bryan Buetteling.