Seven new and updated 3D cities were published yesterday – Calgary, Redmond, Buffalo, Beaverton, Portland, Swindon and Brighton on Microsoft’s Virtual Earth.
Converting flat images into 3-D virtual-reality models that can be manipulated on-screen is the essense of Fotowoosh, which frees the person viewing a photograph from the photographer’s point of view so that he or she can explore perspectives other than the one the camera actually captured.
Freewebs, a Silver Spring, MD, company that hosts 14 million personal websites, is about to launch a consumer version of Derek Hoiem’s software on the Web. He hopes Web users will upload thousands of photographs to Fotowoosh and share the 3-D versions with other visitors, making the service into what he calls “a 3-D Flickr.” A test version of the Fotowoosh system will be launched in May. The system works best on outdoor images. Converted photos look a bit like the illustrations in children’s pop-up books: there’s an obvious “ground” corresponding to the flat page in a pop-up book, and vertical surfaces stand at right angles to the ground, representing objects such as walls, trees, and vehicles.