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Microsoft Combines Mapping Service With Photosynth

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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Our Comments

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.

Related Links

Microsoft frees up 3-D photo offering

(Times Online)

Microsoft Photosynth vs Google Street View

(Tech Radar)

Microsoft Combines Photosynth, Virtual Earth

( PC World)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.