Tragically, a powerful earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing and injuring thousands of people and destroying historical buildings and monuments, many of which are categorized as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites.
The damage is so severe that physical restoration of the structures may take a decade or longer. In the meantime, with the use of advanced technologies and digital photographs, the buildings can be virtually restored online.
To this end, Baidu has launched a global initiative to re-create damaged buildings using state-of-the-art computer imaging, big data and deep learning technologies, including Baidu Panorama, the 3D imaging system that powers Baidu Maps.
The “See You Again, Kathmandu” project launched in China last week and has received strong support. Within just a few days, over 31,000 photos were uploaded.
Today Baidu is expanding the reach of the initiative by adding English instructions on the upload site, to enable even more people to participate.
If you have traveled to Nepal and have digital photos of any of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites (including Bhimsen Tower, Swayambhunath, Bodhnath, and Durbar Square in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur), please consider sharing your photos as part of this crowdsourcing project.
Your uploaded photos will be “stitched” together with tens of thousands of other photos to build a true-to-life online model that will be freely accessible to all on the Internet.
How to do it:
- Visit the upload site here.
- To see the current progress of a restoration, click the button marked “Check.”
- To upload a photo, click the button marked “Upload.”
Once the digital restorations are complete, you will be able to view a video of the restored site in 3D, including a display of what the site would look like during different times of day—daytime, dusk, night—and under different weather conditions, like rain, snow, overcast skies and sunshine.
We’ll post an update on the project next week.