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Landscape Reader
Osama bin Laden

We're betting this is the brief for an independent landscape studio to be hosted by Studio-X NYC and led by its newly appointed directors, one of their night schools in which participants from diverse fields such as computer science, geography, botany, meteorology, statistics and geoinformatics meet together to sketch out an algorithm for ecological totality.

It is common today for even consumer-grade cameras to tag the images and videos that they capture with the location of the image on the earth's surface ("geolocation"). However, some imagery does not have a geolocation tag, and it can be important to know the location of the camera, image, or objects in the scene. For this imagery, analysts work hard to deduce as much as they can using reference data from many sources, including overhead and ground-based images, digital elevation data, existing well-understood image collections, surface geology, geography, and cultural information. Such image/video geolocation is an extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive activity that often meets with limited success.

Several research and consumer-oriented systems have developed useful and relevant capabilities using techniques that include large-scale ground-level image acquisition, crowd sourcing, and sophisticated image matching. These largely automated systems tend to work best in geographic areas with significant population densities or that are well traveled by tourists, and where the query image or video contains notable features such as mountains or buildings.

The Finder Program aims to build on existing research systems to develop technology that augments the analyst's abilities to address the geolocation task. Required technical innovations include the 1) integration of analysts' abilities and automated geolocation technologies to solve geolocation problems, 2) fusion of diverse, publicly-available, but often imperfect data sources, and 3) expansion of automated geolocation technologies to work efficiently and accurately over all terrain and large search areas. If successful, Finder will deliver rigorously tested solutions for the image/video geolocation task of any outdoor terrestrial location.

To sign up, visit the website of who we believe to be the studio's sponsor, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), an agency described as the DARPA for the intelligence community.

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