Microsoft maps get Photosynth panoramas

The Photosynth technology immersing oneself in a virtual view of a location now is integrated with Microsoft's online maps.

A Photosynth view of the CNN Center in Atlanta, Ga., retrieved with Microsoft's Live Search Maps.
A Photosynth view of the CNN Center in Atlanta, Ga., retrieved with Microsoft's Live Search Maps. Microsoft

Microsoft now lets people using its Live Search Maps service get a more immersive view by integrating the company's Photosynth panoramic viewer technology.

Photosynth stitches multiple images together into a 3D view, and people can in effect gaze around from a virtual vantage point. Areas with Photosynth views can be shown in the "explore collections" view of a map that also lets people see photos and other additions to a map.

I found the feature easy to use--even the Photosynth installation that had given me some headaches when I tried it during its early days. I still don't like the vast swath of empty green wasted space that could have been used to make the imagery even more immersive, though, and so far there aren't a huge number of places with Photosynth photos.

For full instructions on how to use Photosynth on Microsoft's maps, check the Virtual Earth evangelist's blog from Microsoft.

In addition, Microsoft said Wednesday it added 47 terabytes of new aerial imagery on Wednesday showing new views of Spain, Japan, Canada, the United States, Australia, and assorted European countries, according to the Virtual Earth blog.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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