Today the Photostynth team has released a major new feature and a slew of small improvements.


New Feature: Overhead View

Have you ever wanted to look down on Mt Rushmore from directly above the Presidents? What about seeing the exact layout of Stonehenge from above? If you’ve used Photosynth you know that it automatically calculates a “cloud” of 3D points representing the features matched between photos. Our new overhead view lets you turn the photos off, and puts your point of view immediately above the scene.  Here’s what I’m talking about:



Overhead view of RHaddlesey’s synth of Stonehenge.


But it gets better. Overhead view is not just for checking out the geometry of your scene, it’s also a quick way to navigate to other parts of it. The screenshot below shows the mouse hovering over a region, and one of the photos covering that region is shown as a thumbnail. Click your mouse, and you get a great transition into the 3D experience starting with that photo. Pretty cool, eh?


Detail from Charlpe’s synth of Mesa Verde


Static screenshots don’t really do Photosynth overhead view justice. Here’s a short video we made to show the feature in action.



Other Improvements

Not as flashy, but just as important, is the work we've done behind the scenes. Here are the highlights:


·         An all-new, Silverlight-3 based viewer. It's noticably smoother and makes fewer network requests, so performance is better.

·         The “View” button on the synther now automatically logs you in to the Web site and takes you directly into the editor so that you can complete title/description, and give your synth highlights and a geotag.

·         Geotagging is now easier and you can even scale and rotate your synth in the map in a process we call “geoalignment”

·         Multiword search no longer sucks. That’s harsh, but if you’ve ever tried to find a synth of “Green Lake” or “Smith Rock”, you would have been as frustrated as we were. It’s now much better.


Hope you enjoy this new work. Tells us what you think by leaving a comment below, or on our forum.


Good synthing,

David Gedye and the Photosynth Team.