Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Most Beautiful Views in the World

This is the most beautiful view in the world. And that isn't just my personal opinion but has been scientifically proven using computer algorithms and machine learning.

In actual fact this view of Mount Paul from the Maligne Lake in Canada is 1 of 256 individual Street View images which have been chosen to showcase the work of Creatism, a deep-learning system designed to improve images of landscape views.Creatism uses a number of image enhancement techniques to improve existing images so that they are of a similar standard to images taken by professional photographers.

The 256 images on the Creatism website were chosen from 40,000 Google Maps Street View images. The Creatism machine learning algorithms were then used to improve these Google Street View images by applying cropping, enhancing colors & hues and by adding dramatic masks to the images.

The Creatism website is certainly full of many beautiful images derived from Google Street View. You should be able to click on any of the 256 images on the Creatism website to compare the AI enhance image with the original Google Maps Street View. However if you click on an image the original Street View image is obscured and carries the ugly message 'For development purposes only'. As is increasingly the case with maps created with the Google Maps API, the underlying maps are broken because the developer no longer wants to pay Google's expensive fees. 


In the early days of Google Maps Street View MIT and OpenPlans both devised methodologies for surveying people's responses to urban environments as seen on Google's interactive panoramic imagery. These surveys were designed to discover what aspects of the urban environment people find 'beautiful', 'safe' or 'unique' by rating Street View images. Unfortunately the websites for both the MIT and OpenPlans projects no longer seem to exist.

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