Science Changes Age-Old Proverb: “Rome was built in a day”

The popular saying “Rome was not built in a day” can be altered to “Rome was built in a day” because of the exciting research that is happening at the University of Washington where programming experts have collected thousands of photos of the city and aim to recreate the majestic city in a day, virtually. Such wonders are possible only digitally where, using the advanced algorithms, the huge task is just a few hours of computerized work away from completion.

It is well known that tourists take a large number of photos of the cities they visit and once all these are digitized, even a city like Rome could be recreated with the help of about these. The scientists gather more than 150,000 of these tourists’ photos with no other efforts made by the university other than collection of photos from a site such as Flickr from which all pictures that originated from Rome were collected using the “tags” feature in which the word “Rome” was the tag.


All the major attractions of Rome like the Arch of Constantine, the Pantheon, the Vatican City and all others would be visible in an expansive and immersive 3-D modeled environment. The explorer could then virtually breeze around these famous landmarks at his own ease.

At the International Conference on Computer Vision in Kyoto, Japan, acting assistant professor Sameer Agarwal who was the first author presented his paper at the conference in October, and he knows the difficulties of dealing with such a large collection of picture files. Such a task would be unthinkable if done non-virtually where the hardware assembly alone would take massive amounts of time. Thus with this development, such an achievement is easily possible in a few hours virtually and every city would be virtually accessible from any corner of the world.

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