The problem with Google Street View and Maps is that with rare exceptions, its data is entirely two dimensional. Satellites look down, after all, while Street View has captured only a very rough first draft of the world's streets.
One of the problems Snavely faces in getting sufficient coverage of cities is that reconstructing a three dimensional model of a street requires many more pictures than are captured by, for example, the cameras of Google Street View.
Another way to fully map cities in three dimensions is simply to get better data out of the photos that are already online. At this year's Emerging Technologies conference at MIT, Snavely said that if he had one wish, it would be that all cameras would accurately record the place where a user took a picture. Given that smart phones, which have build in location services, are now poised to capture more photos than conventional digital cameras, it might not be long until Snavely gets his wish.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com