In a move aimed at increasing the popularity of its Photosynth service, Microsoft has integrated the service with its Virtual Earth mapping service and it envisions a wide usage of the combined technologies by a larger audience.
The Photosynth service is designed to turn still pictures into 3-D images and its latest version makes use of Microsoft’s Silverlight application which apparently is free.
Thus the resultant images are platform independent and can viewed on all systems; however one must note that currently free software required for making Photosynth is only available for Windows based systems though in near future such software may become available for other platforms also.
Explaining the benefit of the service Matthew Quinlan, Group Product Manager with Microsoft mentioned that “What Photosynth is about is taking a lot of photos of a thing or a place, looking at the overlaps between them and knitting them together into a 3-D model.”
Microsoft believes that integrating the two services will encourage a host of organizations including real estate firms, retail outlets and tourism groups to make use of the combined technology.
Among other notable changes, the updated Photosynth service comes with tools to set permissions regarding if a synth needs to be kept private.
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Photosynth is a technology that Google doesn't currently have. Google integrates photos in its Google Maps through a partnership with Panoramio. The photos though are flat rather than in 3D. Microsoft needs to make the most of the lull and use Photosynth as a unique selling point.
( PC World)