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+UrtheCast is determined to provide the world's fist live HD video feed of Earth from space. Two cameras on the International Space Station will stream content live for everyone to see. The aim is to create a video version of Google Earth with the video playback and search functionality of YouTube. Your thoughts?

http://www.urthecast.com
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89 comments
 
"one meter resolution zoom" :-O
Is this allowed? I think its cool... But is it allowed?
It definitively allows for some cool home-made art installations viewed from space! Will also be cool to view protests and festivals from space!:)
 
And How does it matter ???
 
this will totally awesome! but will be killing bandwidth, darn!
 
Sounds like our privacy has been further invaded.
 
I think agencies or governments already can watch what I do... That would mean that all this is is a democratization of a power they already have but we don't :-)
So its a good thing... Right? (confused)
 
Is this how Google will plan its pinpoint surgical strikes on the other social media companies? ;)
 
Imagine the possibilities for raising awareness. Governments will have to think twice before they massacre their people in the open air. Privacy is a concern, but I think the good (and the awesome) outweigh the bad.
 
+Jason Wilson The government spy satellites can tell the date on a coin
from space and have done so for years so where's the rub if it goes out over a public site rather than just a government site
 
that's pretty cool!
 
That's a lot of data!!!! With 1m x 1m resolution, that's a 1.35 PiB image. At one frame per minute, that's 1.9 EiB of data per day, or roughly the total monthly traffic of the internet in 2004.
Sara H
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that is soooooooo cool!
 
And yet another step in the direction of a "New World Order". This ad reminded me of tv commercials in the movies such as "The Running Man" and "The Final Cut" among others. i do not have a good feeling as to what is coming in our future.
 
True that 'the government' has had this stuff for a while. But, local and state government was probably very less likely to use something that is very secure and likely expensive to them. Now one can imagine this being used by local law enforcement, local news, local criminals/stalkers, etc in ways that were never possible before. Don't get me wrong, I signed up for the beta program- this is very interesting indeed.
 
This would be a neat idea, but very.... intruding.. I don't think it would pan out very well in the end. There's a difference between user-uploaded content on sites like YouTube and forced video surveillance, as this seems to lean towards.
 
+Jason Wilson +William Johnston +Alexander Turner +Theo Franzén you and everyone else have to remember something. You arent controlling a live feed yourself( to do so you would need a camera per user) which means you are just manipulating recorded data from the last pass the space station made. So the odds of you seeing that "government hit" (ps you watch to much Jason Bourne) are pretty slim. it's cool, im not denying that. But can't we keep the government conspericies out of it? (all spelling errors are there because im on a phone and dont live my life trolling comments on a computer with spell checker ready for witty responses about somebodys mispelling of a word that doesnt address the facts they presented me with).
 
I wonder if those concerned with privacy contemplate the ISS moves across earth. It also doesn't pass over the same location at anything close to a reasonable frequency. I say to those who are worried should be more concerned about their neighbor's webcam instead of an infrequent pass by a hi-res camera in space. Go climb back under your rock.
 
It's the "Big Brother" stupid people... wake up SHEEPS!!!!
 
+Stephen P. Joralemon Actually the image would be the size of whatever "HD" resolution they chose. The optics and the physical pixel size cause the ground sample distance, not the size of the sensor. Totally reasonable to stream information from.
 
+Paul Done it looks like the "Paul's" are the only ones with common sense around here!
 
+James Barrow In fact the atmosphere will cause significantly more blur than the pixel size will. Diffraction limited systems, however, have little to do with the best resolution you can get given your choice of optics. This is limited by the smallest pixel you can physically make and the smallest blur from the optics you can achieve. I don't know what counts as invading privacy, but on a clear day you'll easily be able to see cars moving.
 
Sounds creepy. This is a dream come true for stalkers... :(
 
It is doubtful that a single person will be able to point the camera to do any 'surveillance'. It will probably be more of a novelty that the camera might be passing overhead and you can go watch yourself for a few seconds.

One thing people might be overlooking, if you go take a look at the ISS path (http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/where.asp) . It spends a great deal of time over the ocean, that is likely what at least half the feed will contain.
 
This is going to be awesome.
 
NO ITS NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
so in the future will I get a ticket for indecent exposure for nude sunbathing in my backyard? lol Seriously though, it's amazing to live in a time where a single company can make a decision that effects the entire world. Where's my "opt out" ability? Like most technology, there are ways to use it for good and ways to use it for bad. The future holds live streaming from space and live streaming from individuals, eventually with the ability of "tagging" people automatically with face recognition technologies. It's going to make for an interesting future. We can't predict the future, so who knows if this will be a bad or good thing overall, but with current politics how they are, it could swing both ways. My initial reaction is that we're not ready for such a technology, or at least not for high resolution. If Google maps all of a sudden started publishing people's faces in their street view, or higher resolution satellite pictures, I guarantee there would be a lot of backlash worldwide. This live video will be under the same scrutiny.
 
+Kostas Silas I'm not sure if you are trolling (or if trolling even happens on G+), but you can rest assure that a small camera in space is the least of your worries. On top of that, the foundation for this company (UrtheCast) is founded by civilians, a number of whom are non-america, and funded by two private organizations one in the UK and one in Russia. They would not even be able to sell their product to people looking to do persistent surveillance because they will have so little pointing control over the system.

Just for fun though, if you are really that scared about your privacy, go read the TOS of your ISP.....
 
+Dave Nilosek I'm interested for all humans and society privacy. If the system has little control then very good.
 
+Paul Milton True enough, it's difficult to know what you'll catch when you're flying over at those speeds, let alone that we're not pointing it anywhere in particular, however, it's still possible to catch things that are otherwise hidden. And imagine if someone made a satellite footage documentary of Syria, or any one of the African genocides. Getting visceral, real footage without the risk of being in harms way or being detained.
 
+Paul Milton Yes... We should keep the Bourne movies out of the discussion (although they are killer ^^ )
The fact that the users can't point the cameras direction doesn't really matter. If there's public demand for live feeds from for example the World Cup I don't see why they wouldn't point the camera in that direction... If ISS is above the World Cup then that is. (View North Korea? Syria?)
Also a service that tells you when the camera will be passing over your city and where you should be exactly to be seen is a possibility:) That would make it possible to use it for advertising gimmicks, art installations and/or for space-love-notes/space-death-threats ;D
 
what´s next? cameras in every house?
 
Invasion of privacy and a new way of stalking
 
Dude, we live in a world where hackers and terrorists running rampant, right? Even if the system is good and controlled to a point, who's to say the aforementioned parties are not going to take advantage of this and push the technology further for their own gains? I mean, it's much more easier and cheaper than hacking through some governments' satellites. Just a thought. I could be wrong, maybe even paranoid. But--hey, who knows these days, right? I surely hope I'm just being paranoid, honestly.
 
What is the point of hacking into something that is openly streamed over the web?
 
IMHO, that's exactly my point. If one is good and the technology is present, one's hacking activity could be buried under the mainstream and not easily singled out like a sore thumb.
 
Excellent Preparation for APRIL FOOL JOKE 2012 :)
 
+Dave Nilosek Heck, I wouldn't know. I'm no hacker. But it could be anything if one puts one's mind to it. Monitoring a bank's routines through an infrared filter, for instance?
 
Well, if you guys'll excuse me, I have to go outside and flip off the sky.
 
+Frank Cuenca your phone, webcam in your laptop, security cameras, etc. People not even always bother to keep them from net
 
+Bima Sudiarto I ask because I hope people who are worried about this would take a little more logical thought process.

Think about it this way: they are strapping a camera to the bottom of a manned space station that moves ~7 km a second. The ISS takes a different path around the earth each time it goes around. So at best you will get a frame or two over whatever you want to see, once every few weeks.

Even if you were able to steal the datastream (which is publicly available anyway), there is no way to control pointing (as it is bootstrapped to the ISS), and the data just is not sufficient to do persistent surveillance.

What it will provide, is a Google earth-style view of the world that is updated more frequently. However you will not be able to extract any more information from it than you would from Google Earth.
 
+Dave Nilosek OK, that's good. Like I said, I hope it was just my paranoia talking. That the device is indeed as strictly controlled and hack-proof as you said.
 
+Bima Sudiarto I'm glad you see that. I hope others who are also worried that this will cost them all of their privacy will also take note. This is a really cool innovative way to use the current technology with the growing social network world that we have! However, it's usefulness for violating any one individual's privacy is just about as useful as Google Earth.
 
I think it's a great idea, but I don't want them to be able to zoom in close enough to identify people, let's leave that to the government
 
+Dave Nilosek Heh. Speaking of Google Earth for comparison, I can't help but remember reading the news on about an American archeologist who found thousands of ancient sites and/or archeological digs in Egypt using Google Earth imaging technology and infrared filter, since she couldn't have done it directly due to the strict rules and sanctions regarding archeological activity in Egypt. But never mind this. Just something I remember reading about a year ago, is all.
 
+Bima Sudiarto I would imagine they used a combination of GIS information from Google Earth along with imagery from something like Landsat or Hyperion if they used infrared data. Unlike what movies and television lead people to believe, you cannot just slap an filter on an image and get a result, filtering comes at acquisition time. I'm not denying that there are ways to do stuff like this, but not quite as movie-esque as people would think, and definitely not with a high-res visual spectrum camera.
 
quit pointing at my house(please)
 
Still...this would provide quite a promising idea for a book. Heheh.
 
Great! another convenient technology for terrorist to use against us....
 
Kind of creepy to tell you the truth.
 
It's a good idea. But think of the negative impacts, could you effectively spy on someone from this website?
 
Time to put those Marijuana plants inside the house! Lmao...
 
Yes. Let's watch the crop circles form this summer...
 
This is exactly why I love Google. More than anyone else, they want to show you beautiful things.
 
Sounds cool, although a little bit scary!
 
+Joseph Bates In order to spy on someone, you need a constant feed on a particular spot on earth. This thing is going to be flying around the Earth at 7 km a second, so it goes around the earth about 15 times a day. Each path covers different landmass. It is a live feed, but it is not a live feed that can be pointed at someone. You just simply would not have enough regular coverage over a single spot in order to gather any useful information.
 
Congratulations on A soon to be one of the most interesting app around
Josh B
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any one else pronounce "urthecast" as "your the cast?"
 
What's next? They'll tell us that we're all one big "Truman Show"?
 
keep it up. there is a big war ahead
 
"1 metre resolution" - ... shows a video at around 5 cm resolution
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