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Holiday snaps go 3D

The number of architectural snaps in existence in the world must be in the high millions. Do the maths: a million architects by an average of 30 holidays per lifetime by say 200 snaps per holiday. Lots and lots. I mention this because it surely explains why the Photosynth demos are mostly architectural. Last year Norman Blogster alerted me to its potentially amazing abilities following Microsoft's acquisition of the company. Now there's what Microsoft Live Labs calls a 'tech preview' of Photosynth with demos of the Piazza St Marco, Venice and Rome's Piazza San Pietro. What Photosynth does is to take hundreds of snaps of the same building or setting, puts them in an electronic blender or, as they prefer, synthesiser and out the end comes a three dimensional photographic model of the whole place which is navigable by mouse. Hopefully they'll eventually incorporate drivers for that nice 3DConnexion, the descendant of the spaceball controller. It's early days for Photosynth but you can download here a version plus some eye-watering demos of the above. I haven't asked but, since this doesn't seem to necessarily rely on photos, I reckon you could use Photosynth to assemble three dimensional images from a set of hand drawn sketch elevation. Save all that vanishing point stuff. .

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