Thursday, January 22, 2009

Which of these 6 pixels do you want?

I received the typical parking garage scene image in a help request. An agency wanted to see if I could get the license plate off of the black car in the left/center of the image. It was crucial to their investigation.

I asked a bit about the CCTV and if there were cameras closer to the car that might have a better shot. It turns out that the closest camera would have a brilliant look at the car, but the dome's been down for a while. Maintenance has been complaining to management, but there is no money to fix the dome (budget problems are still being sorted out). This is all that there is. 

After balancing the image a bit and brightening up the area in question, I took a look to see how many available pixels there were to help fulfill the request.

Then I asked the question: which of these 6 pixels do you want clarified?

In these crazy economic times, preventative maintenance is usually the first thing to go. I'm sure that more of these types of files will be showing up in my inbox. Facility managers can't afford the up-keep on their CCTV systems, then hope the ol' CSI button still works at the local police station when something goes wrong. Didn't they do something like this on last night's episode?


Steve said...

We see that all the time! It is what it can't extract detail that doesn't exist.

Doktor Jon said...

"We see that all the time! It is what it can't extract detail that doesn't exist."

Sad but true!

The truly sad thing is, in most situations, much more detail could easily be provided, without necessarily costing a cent more.

Most installers need to stop thinking about the easiest location to fit a camera, and start considering the optimal point in order to achieve the most effective results.

If that means taking the trouble to educate the client as to how it should be done, well then so be it.

Industry's desire for 'digital' and MegaPixel cameras to rescue us from a wider lack of knowledge, is something that will take many years to become a reality, and in the meantime, FVA's are required to do the impossible ... as for miracles, well we know the rest :-))

Andrew Smith said...

I'd go for the top centre pixel, myself. :-) BTW, what was their response? (dying - with laughter - to know!)

Jim Hoerricks said...

"Do you know if the FBI has better equipment?"