Seadragon meets Photosynth, the more shards the clearer the view.


A friend from Germany has recently send me this extremely exciting link about the most interesting image visualization software I have seen for some time. Especially with the demonstrated possibility to harness the global collective visual data with many applications for education and entertainment.

The Photosynth technology preview is a taste of this new – and most exciting – way to view images on a computer. This software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next.

Its architect, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, shows it off in this standing-ovation demo (you will need broadband).

Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web, Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation.

Seadragon promises speed of navigation is independent of the size or number of objects (images and large amounts of text) and its performance depends only on the ratio of bandwidth to pixels on the screen. This leads to smooth transitions and near perfect scaling for screens of any resolution (wall-sized displays to mobile devices).

Seadragon is an incubation project resulting from the acquisition of Seadragon Software in February by Microsoft.

You can access gigabytes of photos in seconds, view a scene from nearly any angle, find similar photos with a single click, and zoom in to make the smallest detail as big as your monitor.

Its aim is to change the way we use screens so that visual information can be smoothly browsed regardless of the amount of data involved or the bandwidth of the network.

Just imagine the possibilities of a convergence of Photosynth/Seadragon and flickr, google earth and second life like systems for education. I just hope this helpful and exciting technology will filter through to average customers and not suddenly disappear from the public eye.

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