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Get ready for Photosynth

Get ready for Photosynth

Get ready for Photosynth

About a year and a half ago I read about Microsoft's collaborative project with the University of Washington called Photosynth.  I was, to say the least, excited!  Ok, I'm easily excited but I did think this was pretty cool. I wouldn't be doing it justice if I just said "it's a service that lets you stitch together photos and pan and zoom them", although it wouldn't be far off.  It is, however, much more powerful than that. Photosynth is now a public service for creating a network of photos.  You could upload a picture of the outside of your house and then your neighbour could upload a picture of their house and stitch it to yours.  Users could then pan from your house to theirs.  Ok, eventually Street View is going to do that kind of thing anyway but with Photosynth you also have depth so you can click on a photo and zoom or even go inside.  So, if people took a load of photos of St. Paul's Cathedral from the outside and stitched them together, they could also take a load of photos of the inside of the Cathedral (well, I'm presuming you're allowed to) and stitch them behind the outside photos.  That would allow users to click on the photos of the outside of the Cathedral and actually zoom into pictures of the inside of the Cathedral. The other neat thing is that you can add descriptions to the photos, so will be really good for education purposes as well. I can see Estate Agents doing a cheap version of 3D tours for houses, or websites doing demos using this kind of technology.  Perhaps even we at Plusnet could add pictures of our building and allow customers to tour our offices.  Who knows? Ok, it's fair to say that there have been a few other apps that do similar things, but I'm not aware of something quite like this - open and collaborative for the community to build the photo network. Predictably it requires a browser plug-in.  I don't yet know if it would work on a Mac but I'm guessing not, and likewise for Linux.  Unfortunately the website has gone down whilst I'm writing this blog but I'm guessing it's now in demand.  I may add more info later, but have a play.  Upload some photos and help create the world in pictures! Do you like it?  What would you use it for? Dan

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6 Comments
Dabbler
Good spot Dan! This is a really exciting technology, and very hard to tell from a description just how compelling and immersive it is to use. I'd encourage anyone who enjoys taking digital photos to go and have a play.
Not applicable
Yeah this is immensely cool. I was just coming to the community site to blog it myself but you beat me to it! Site seems to be a bit broken today though. It keeps redirecting me to http://www.default.aspx !
Not applicable
Oooh, I remember playing around with the demo months back and panning around some architectural structure that escapes my memory. Didn't realise it had now been launched. Must have a play around with this.
Not applicable
Here's my first attempt - http://snipurl.com/3j24r Pretty easy to use and you get a reasonably generous 20GB storage to upload your photos to.
Dabbler
Impressive Bob! Here's my first attempt - http://snipurl.com/3j2nu Yes it's pretty simple to create a basic 'synth'.
Dan
Grafter
nice examples guys. I was actually staying in St. Paul's hotel over the weekend Mark - hope you didn't zoom into my messy room!