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Japanese broadcaster develops SkyMap

Japan: Engineers at Japanese public broadcaster NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) have developed a system, SkyMap. It can overlay Google Earth-like labels over live TV images from helicopters. It relies on an additional datastream sent from the helicopter with the live video. The data includes the current GPS position of the helicopter, the direction in which the camera is facing, and its zoom level.

The data coming from the helicopter is processed by computer mapping software, which then generates a virtual map giving the same view as the real camera. The mapping software is already programmed to place labels over landmarks on the map, just as Google Earth does over its images.

NHK takes the label layer from the map image and overlays that on the live video image. A video showing the system in-use and other new broadcasting technologies from NHK is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlGpMvFxHRs

NHK expects SkyMap to be useful during live news, especially when covering earthquakes.

Source: PCWorld