Microsoft is working on a variety of innovative photo projects, ranging from experiments with its 3-D maps offering to massive panoramic photos that users can zoom into for details. Developers who work in the company's research arm showed off the technologies on Tuesday during the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond, Wash.
HD View is one photo project that definitely has the "wow" factor. The technology allows users to combine hundreds of photos to create one massive picture that users can zoom in on to see clear details. In one example, a panoramic photo of the city of Seattle includes 800 images, each 8 megapixels in size, stitched together to create a 3.6 billion-pixel image.
Another Microsoft project, unveiled last year and built in collaboration with the University of Washington, collects images of a site such as Rome's Trevi fountain from public photo-sharing Web pages such as Flickr. The Photo Tourism technology combines the photos into a 3-D image so that users can look at the object from any view. The idea was to take advantage of the potentially billions of images that are online, said Noah Snavely, a researcher at the University of Washington who works on the project with Microsoft researchers.