Photosynth Launches

21 Aug
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Two years after the first technology preview, Microsoft officially launched Photosynth, an interesting way to combine overlapping photos from a place and explore the place in detail from different angles. "Using techniques from the field of computer vision, Photosynth examines images for similarities to each other and uses that information to estimate the shape of the subject and the vantage point the photos were taken from. With this information, we recreate the space and use it as a canvas to display and navigate through the photos."

PhotoSynth requires a Windows-only plug-in that also lets you create synths, but the results depend on the number and quality of your photos. Microsoft suggests to "start by taking a panorama of your scene, then move around and take more photos from different angles and positions. When moving around objects, try to get one photo every 25 degrees or so. That will make the synth work better."

There are some interesting places that can be explored, but this technology will become really useful in conjunction with geocoded photos from sites like Flickr or Panoramio. Google Maps already overlays photos from Panoramio, so the next step could be to combine these photos using "Panoramio Look Around", but the results won't be anywhere close to Photosynth.

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