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We take so many photos every day that researchers can turn them into time-lapse videos

Tourists on Lombard Street.
Tourists on Lombard Street.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Phil Edwards is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

People around the world take millions and millions of different photos each year — often of the exact same thing. There are so many, in fact, that researchers from the University of Washington and Google realized they could stitch these photos together into what are essentially time-lapse videos.

The authors of a recent paper, Ricardo Martin-Brualla, David Gallup, and Steven M. Seitz, basically "mined" 86 million different photos and put together ones that were taken at roughly the same location. From there, they wrote a program that created a time lapse of the photos. You can see the years progress at the bottom of each GIF below.

These photos, stitched together, show a building being constructed in New York:

A building being constructed.

A building being constructed. (Via YouTube)

A Norwegian glacier disappearing:

A glacier melts away.

A glacier melts away. (Via YouTube)

The foliage on San Francisco's Lombard Street:

Lombard Street blooms.

Lombard Street blooms. (Via YouTube)

Las Vegas glowing over the years:

Las Vegas glows.

Las Vegas glows. (Via YouTube)

And the seasons changing in a garden:

A garden blooms.

A garden blooms. (Via YouTube)

The researchers further describe the process in a video:

You can read more about the process at Wired, where they describe how the researchers filtered out photos with people or those with day and night scenes. As we all take more and more photos every day, it will only get easier to create crowdsourced time lapses like these.

(Hat tip to Laughing Squid for pointing out the video.)

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