Photosynth and Location


Photosynth Map Explore

Perhaps you missed this little gem: Photosynth Map Explore.

I hope not, because I think it represents an interesting insight into the future of location.

A little while back I was underwhelmed with Photosynth, but I did look forward to improvements with location being tied in. Photosynth Map Explore is the answer. It’s early days, but the potential here is huge. I love it.

I was, and still am, looking forward to every photo being geo-tagged and angle coded. But here’s the obvious tipping point I missed. At some point we’ll get to a point where we have enough geo-tagged photos that we’ll be able to go in reverse. We’ll be able to upload an older photo, and with technology like Photosynth, be able to reverse calculate where it was taken.

You can see where I’m heading right? With enough photos catalogued in a site like the Photosynth Map Explore site, we’ll be able to slot in a photo and have it tell us where the photo was taken.

And the beautiful thing… every new photo that gets reverse located, adds further to the overall database, and makes the coverage even better.

The possibilities are endless. We haven’t even discussed the overlaying of timestamp data on the coverage. You’ll be able to reverse not only a location, but perhaps even the time it was taken (as landmarks, seasons and other characteristics change). And then the obvious step is to be able to do this for any frame in a video.

I’m actually pretty excited about this. And intrigued. Just as Google Maps and Live Maps has brought national security considerations into the conversation (and with just satelite imagery), imagine how potentially disruptive technology like this could be. 

Find out more about Photosynth here.

(For a good overview read the LiveSide post.)

Add comment

By Craig Bailey