Speaking at yesterday’s Association of Online Publisher’s (AOP) editorial technologies event, Microsoft executive producer Peter Bale extolled the virtues of Photosynth as a new visual storytelling tool.
The experimental, but publicly available tool, was used by CNN in its coverage of the Obama inauguration to thread 100s of photos together. These create a scenic panorama but can also be drilled into using additional feature Deep Zoom:
Within MSN its being used five or six times a week and the team are learning more about its capabilities with each use, Bale told Journalism.co.uk.
The product is being deployed commercially e.g for motoring sections to show car interiors in high detail. MSN also used PhotoSynth to display professional and user-contributed images during the recent heavy snowfall in the UK.
“What we’d like to do a lot more of is multiple crowd-contributed pictures where you can get several hundred or thousand people contributing a picture of a similar event, stitched together in a communal panorama,” he explained.
Photosynth works in combination with Microsoft’s alternative to Flash, Silverlight, which Bale says is ideally set up to enable map mash-ups and overlaying other content onto the threaded images.