Microsoft’s 3D Photo Flyby

Posted by Sam Churchill on

PhotoSynth is a 3-D image “tourism” application being developed by Microsoft Research. Channel 9 has a preview of the application which can “map” public 2D images (like Flickr) to 3D space (like Second Life). Here’s a Live Demo and White Paper (pdf).

It’s a product in development and not ready for general consumption, but a beta could be ready for download this fall.

Imagine Google Earth with photos mapped onto 3D building models. Those photos can be shot from a thousand different camera angles and by hundreds of different photographers. They’re fused together into a 3D flyby with PhotoSynth.

Group Manager, Adam Sheppard talks with Channel 10 about how you might use Photosynth, the Sea Dragon technology that powers it, and the collaboration that made it possible.

By displaying screen resolution, fast zooming on images and locations is possible — only part of a huge picture file need be downloaded. Photosynch combines vector with bit mapped data for fast, smooth zooming, up to 1000-to-1 (or more).

Microsoft Research is presenting 17 papers at Siggraph (from July 30 to August 3rd). Handheld devices, fed by Microsoft servers, could follow.

Originally called Sand Codex (PowerPoint), it appears to fuse the technologies like Keyhole and the Social Canvas Zoom Server (infinite zooming on photo files) with Microsoft’s MapCruncher, Pyramid Vision‘s VideoFlashlight (above) and UCSD’s Reality Flythrough.

University of Oregon has 40,000 glass-plate negatives in their Special Collections. They are being scanned and blown up revealing astonishing details of a bygone era. It appears they may use Sea Dragon software to zoom (continuously) into tiny segments of an image.

Canon’s CanoScan 4400F flatbed scanner ($99), features 4800 x 9600 dpi optical resolution with a built-in film adapter for 35mm negatives and mounted slides while the CanoScan 9950F ($399) supports 4×5 negatives.

Imagine a walking tour through cities and countrysides assembled from 100 year-old photographs.

Sea Dragon had 10 employees and was founded in Princeton, N.J., in 2003 by Blaise Ag├╝era y Arcas, then a graduate student at Princeton.

He moved the company to Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood in January 2004 after his wife, a computational neuroscientist, received a faculty appointment at the University of Washington.

This is probably the kind of competition that drives the “suits” at L3 crazy. Here’s more on the Video Surveillance Debate.

Related DailyWireless articles include; Panoramic Video, Vessel Monitoring, Border Surveillence, Gigapixel Imaging, Earth Day, Telepresence Now!, Doing the Time Warp, Cities As Game Grids, 3D Cities, UAVs Expand Role, 360 Degree Surveillence, How To Spend Your Homeland Security Check and City Clouds: Becoming The World Cup.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Sunday, July 30th, 2006 at 10:55 am .

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