Imagine you’re at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and you just don’t have the zoom you want. There are some incredibly cool details after all. Google’s new idea would allow you to get that extra zoom and detail by using data from other people’s geotagged pictures. Google calls the patent “image zooming using pre-existing imaging information.”
The concept is incredibly cool and could be an impressive application of technology, but as an actual photography tool it seems a bit sterile. The point of taking a photo, even as a tourist, is to capture a moment in time. With the new Google patent, you’d simply be capturing someone else’s moment. That seems to defeat the purpose more than a bit.
Of course, we’re guessing that this is more aimed at sightseeing than at actual photography. Take the Arc de Triomphe example again. If you’re using Google’s tech to get a closer view or see more detail, this might actually be a valid application. This could also be very cool for guided tours of massive landmarks that require more detailed views to get the full story.