Linking synths?

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Because synths must be so small (300 images or less), it would be real nice to be able to link them together. For example, covering the various rooms of a building. Each room can easily take 100-300 images - then you're in a hall, and there's the next room (a seperate synth, 100-300 images.)

It would be great to have a shared image between the two that let you bridge back and forth, so you could explore entire building interiors.

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Dane Jasper

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Posted 12 years ago

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I agree, it would be good if say I have 10 photos of something, I could make my Synth public, and other users could add their photos of the same scene to it, to make a more in depth synth. It could even eventuate into a powerful tool, like Google Street view only better - imagine if 1000's of photos of a city get uploaded and you can do a virtual tour through the streets, or a museum or other well known location!
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Nathanael Lawrence

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You're both right on. Having watched every video that I could find that relates to Photosynth a few too many times, I can say that they are definitely planning both of the features that you two mention. My personal unofficial theory is that if you geotag your synths, when Live Labs introduces synth merging, it will automatically look for synths that are geotagged as nearby and then analyse the image features from one synth against the image features of any neighboring synths to try to discover any common objects which will allow the system to position the point clouds far more accurately in Virtual Earth. I look at Birds' Eye View in Virtual Earth 3D and am 100% positive that we are meant to swing from those aerial photographs straight into our synths in the future.

Here are some links to quotes that should make you very happy to read.

Dan Hou: They are really good ideas (editing of synths, merge different synths, etc).

Gary Flake: As a result, sharing (and the eventual combining of synths) is very easy and natural. In my mind, that's one of the most important design decisions that we made.

Gary Flake: At some point, I think we'll have to offer some basic editing capability so that users can remove photos from a synth or even adjust the aggressiveness of the matching algorithms so that they have the option of removing false positives.

Gary Flake: We are pushing the data into a central location so that we can eventually stitch synths together. If the product was designed so that everyone was encouraged to make little "island" synths, then there would be little hope that all of the different synths could be combined into a larger, unified, collection. Our sincere hope is to make a system that continuously improves because of user contributions, thereby increasing the value for everyone and in a highly non-linear way (think about how your vacation photos and my vacation photos are, well, just okay, but together they are vastly better. Now multiply this by millions of people.)

Blaise Aguera y Arcas: For the next little while, we'll mostly be prioritizing community features over fancier visuals. Path planning and my-photos-in-context are high on the list, though.

David Gedye: yes -- we are VERY interested in allowing individuals, groups, and the community to create bigger and bigger experiences. The basic way we are going to acheive this is by linking synths together and allowing you to walk -- as seamlessly as possible -- from one synth to the next.

David Gedye: In later updates we hope to give you the ability to stitch synths together, and then walk them seamlessly.

Also, here are a couple of links to your fellow photosynthers who think like you do:

Location recognition/integration with other synths

What features should we add to Photosynth? (Just search this page for "combine", "merge", or "multiple")
EDIT: The relevant parts of that topic have been hidden. To search, please use this archived version on the Wayback Machine.

Lastly, here are some of those videos that I mentioned. I'll list the timecodes for watching the bits about joining synths, but the whole videos are very interesting.

PhotoSynth: What. How. Why.

Blaise brings up multi user synths at 24:40 and then at 35:14 talks about a farther future where photosynth can connect web pages by connecting the photos in the pages.

The technology behind Photosynth

Blaise starts talking about what you're interested around the 15:30 mark here.

Drew Steedly and Joshua Podolak on Photosynth

Drew and Josh talk about coming up with ways of joining synths around the 29:00 mark here.

Photosynth and Seadragon offer a glimpse at the next great UI

Watch for 11:11 - 14:00 and 15:00 on

ShutterSpeed EP04 - The Photosynth Team

At 29:14 Nic Fillingham asks the same question that we have. Drew talks about joining through multiple synths of the same thing and Blaise talks about connecting neighboring synths.

There are also some early promotional videos from an older version of the Live Labs site that talk about the much larger future potential of Photosynth allowing you to jump into a photo on one web page and then jump back out through a related picture to the page that it came from. I'm not sure if this has been abandoned for the moment because of the copyright on people's photos and privacy concerns or not. Certainly this post from Blaise seems to indicate that they've shied away from that strategy to one of just combining photos that people have chosen to share already... at least for the time being.
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Jared Pickerell

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November 2015 and would still love to see this technology implemented in the current version of Photosynth! Linking between synths would be an amazing way to create virtual tours!