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August 21, 2008

Photosynth Launches

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.

{ via Data Mining Blog }


  1. Of course no Linux of Mac support. Damn Windose.

  2. what would you expect from Microsoft?

  3. And the process is taken on the server side, and they already disabled uploading due to high demand...

  4. No linux support. I HATE Windblows

  5. But iit's a nice technology. I like it

  6. You can geocode your pictures in Virtual Earth !

  7. don't forget that lively is also windows only... but I don't know if there are the same technical difficulties or if Microsoft forgot that there are also other OS again.

  8. waaa.... waaa.. waaa... "I hate whiners that always whine at MS..." Mr oximoron... aren't you doing the same thing... whining!!!! oh, I'm sorry.. I didn't noticed the MSPuppetStrings2.0 over your head.

    Also... for the others, Its all about marketing... Apple does it too, "Create application that brings exposure to their OS." It just happen that MS took a long time to copy...err.. I mean, to come up with their own strategy...

  9. I think it's hilarious that people think lack of porting and incompatibility is purely a windows issue. I can't even count the number of apps that have been made for MAC that never found their way to a windows porting.

    It's life. Deal with it.

  10. True. And it's true with many Linux apps too. HOWEVER, in case you haven't noticed, there is a much higher percentage of Microsoft Windows apps that have not been ported to other platforms.

    It is life but it is also a pain to deal with it. So you can certainly expect some bitching. :)

  11. "there is a much higher percentage of Microsoft Windows apps that have not been ported to other platforms"

    Of course, there's mucher higher percentage of Microsoft Windows apps in general...

    Photosynth is free and experimental. Do you think that teams in Microsoft will spend their energy making these things work in other platforms just like that, to be nice ??
    Recently Microsoft released livemesh and
    they are planing to make it compatible to Mac. For important technologies they make some efforts. Microsoft is still a business company, not a philanthropic and nonprofit organization...

  12. hey, hey. Don't be so critical. The error content is "Unfortunately, we're not cool enough to run on your OS yet". So it is far from "Sory, we cannot recognise you version of Windows, try to upgrade to Windows Vista". I must admit this sentence is satisfying enough for me, linux user.


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