Sunday, September 19, 2010

The dark side

I was playing with ICE (Image Composite Editor) Friday evening and kept looking at the "Publish to Photosynth..." button. From what I remembered about Photosynth, ICE composites didn't belong there, but what the heck; I pushed the button. The result is below.

My first ICE/Photosynth panorama.

The cool thing about that is it's the full resolution image. You can zoom way in and see lots of detail. The viewing area is rather limited in this embedded image. You can go to my Photosynth page and look at it almost full screen there.

Naturally, I started thinking about what else I could do with this newly discovered capability. As an experiment, I decided to take a bunch of pictures zoomed in on the Superstition Mountains and throw those into ICE. Since it was kind of hot yesterday, I planned to wait until late afternoon. I waited a little too long, though, and was almost running to get to a spot with a decent view before sunset. I stopped at the first acceptable spot and took some pictures. Then I continued to the hill I wanted to be on for the pictures. There was still enough light so I took a bunch more pictures. Since I was in such a hurry, I didn't have the camera set up quite the way I wanted, but that didn't seem to have a detrimental effect. I was still in a hurry when I got home and the first time I put the pictures into ICE, the result reminded me of Brundlefly. While eating dinner I realized that I had put pictures taken at both locations into ICE at the same time. No wonder I got strange results. I had to geotag the pictures to figure out where one batch ended and the other started. One of the panos is made up of 31 picture and the other has 80 pictures. Not all of the pictures are perfectly focused. ICE had a little trouble stitching the pictures together in a few places, too.

Superstition Mountains super panorama composed of 80 pictures.

While I was skimming through the Photosynth blog, I saw that geotagged Photosynths are put on bing maps within a few hours. I thought that would be cool, but there were a couple of issues to overcome. First, even though all the pictures were geotagged, the final Photosynth isn't. I had to geotag it manually, which was a little tedious since Google aerial views and bing aerial views don't look exactly the same. A nifty feature is that you can also specify the orientation of the Photosynth, though. Second, and this is the kind of thing that makes me mad whenever I have to use microsoft tools, how to turn on Photosynth pictures in bing maps is far from obvious. I tried a couple of times Saturday morning and gave up. On Sunday morning I went down a path that didn't seem right but could not be ruled out, and there it was. Typical microsoft. If anybody else is able to figure it out, please let me know. I want to know if microsoft tools are really as obtuse as I think they are or if I'm just a dummy. Wait, maybe I don't want to know. I'd rather just grumble about microsoft.

I just remembered a third irritation. While geotagging the Photosynths, I thought it might help if I looked at the bing map in 3D. Guess what; 3D works ONLY in internet explorer. Typical microsoft. I'm getting mad thinking about all this. That's good. I haven't gone completely over to the dark side.

1 comment:

Skid Plate said...

This is really cool. You might want to also try AutoCollage.