Forum : New Feature Suggestions/Requests

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Topic: URLs to enter Photosynth view at any image

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timjh (Over 1 year ago)
My Photosynth shows many objects in a scene. I’d like to be able to enter the Photosynth on a close-up of any one of the objects, ie I’d like each object to have its own URL to start the view.
The location is (sorry if you find this morbid) a graveyard, and I’d like to use the Photosynth to support a web page that allows visitors to look up an ancestor’s name in an index and link to a view of their gravestone. They may then zoom out and move around to get a feel for the surroundings.
I’ve been testing the approach at http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884. This Photosynth starts on one of the gravestones, but I’d like to have an alternative URL that starts the view at the gravestone next to it.
Or perhaps someone can think of another way to achieve the same end?
timjh (Over 1 year ago)
Sorry - my URL got a period stuck on the end, so takes you to the "This Photosynth has been deleted" page. This should work:
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884
adrian.info (Over 1 year ago)
Hi timjh,

Have you tried modifying the "Starting Image"?  ("Edit this Photosynth" button on that view page)
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
@Adrian, the 'Starting Image' is only good for one entering point per synth and what Timjh is needing is multiple different entryways into a single synth.

@Timjh, actually the Photosynth website has supported exactly what you're asking for since the first day that the public could upload our own photos.

The answer is the 'Share' links. Any time that you click 'Share' on the site and get a URL, you get the default URL to your synth or pano, but then get additional image number, zoom level, and camera coordinate data added onto the end so that if you send the link to someone, they'll see just what you did when you generated the link. 

The exceptions to this are if you are in Overhead View, or 2D/Grid View.

Since your synth is a small one, I'll post a couple of example links to show you what the different parts of the Share links do.
timjh (Over 1 year ago)
Nathanael, thank you SO much! I hadn't spotted the Share button. I'd looked through the forums and read the documantation and found no reference to this feature. I've just tried it and, although the URLs are a bit long, they do exactly what I want:

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:6&c=1.37217:-0.381293:-0.187285&z=1543.36352723101&d=2.54046546213814:-2.52306037238722:-1.39880233757916&p=0:0&t=False

and

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:5&c=1.4066:-0.0751167:-0.214378&z=1726.66035555974&d=2.38492101157659:-2.59578124183903:-1.29835312379594&p=0:0&t=False

Thanks also for offering to explain the structure of the links. That would be helpful too.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Here are links to the seven photos in your Graveyard Test synth: 

In Silverlight: 
1: http://bit.ly/timjhgt1
2: http://bit.ly/timjhgt2
3: http://bit.ly/timjhgt3
4: http://bit.ly/timjhgt4
5: http://bit.ly/timjhgt5
6: http://bit.ly/timjhgt6
7: http://bit.ly/timjhgt7


In Direct3D: (You'll need Windows, Photosynth, + either Internet Explorer or Firefox 3 [yes, 3 http://bit.ly/vintagefirefox ] to use these)
1: http://bit.ly/timjhgt1d3d
2: http://bit.ly/timjhgt2d3d
3: http://bit.ly/timjhgt3d3d
4: http://bit.ly/timjhgt4d3d
5: http://bit.ly/timjhgt5d3d
6: http://bit.ly/timjhgt6d3d
7: http://bit.ly/timjhgt7d3d
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Great! I see you found what you wanted. 

It's been a little while since I looked at the share link variables/switches, so I can't give a comprehensive/authoritative answer, but here's what I remember. Photosynth team members can correct and or complete what I list.

After the collection ID, you'll see the ampersand and then: 

m= This switch can be set to 'true' or false'. False is 3D and True is 2D.
Example:
http://photosynth.net/d3d/photosynth.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false
http://photosynth.net/d3d/photosynth.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=true
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:1
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=true&i=0:0:1
Note that the Silverlight viewer seems to not obey the 'm' flag unless you include an image number.

Which leads us to...
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
i= This switch is represented by three colon separated numbers. I don't know that I've ever figured out the numbering system, but instinct tells me that the first two numbers come into use in synths where there are multiple clusters of photos.

In my previous post, I used a URL shortener because I was using fully articulated share links, but if we are not concerned with the zoom level or orientation of the scene, links to individual images can be shortened to simply: 

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:1
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:2
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:3
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:4
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=8dbddfee-1b58-42f7-acea-65280c7a0884&m=false&i=0:0:5
etc. See previous post for how to modify a link for D3D view.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
c= This switch is triggered by three floating point numbers and I believe correspond to the virtual camera's position coordinates (in what appears to be a Z:X:Y arrangement upon initial prodding). Note that you can round these down to a lesser degree of precision to shorten share links when you aren't using a URL shortener without too much loss in fidelity of virtual camera position.

z= This controls your viewport's zoom level (I am assuming, relative to the specified photo). Larger numbers are closer to the current image and vice versa. This number takes a lot of changing in order to make much difference, so rounding the float to the nearest integer shouldn't noticably change things, if you're looking to shorten up your links.

d= Here, again, we have three colon separated floating point numbers which specify the direction that the virtual camera is pointed in. These tend to be fairly sensitive, so handle with care.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I don't know what the last two tags, 'p' and 't' , actually do. 

p= contains two colon separated numbers, so is a possible candidate for describing which point cloud in a synth you are currently loaded into.

t= The default appears to be 'True', but don't ask me what this does as setting it to 'False' has no effect that I can discern at the moment.

I don't know what your skill level of web development is, but if you or friends/contacts of yours are familiar with Javascript, take a look at the Javascript API for the Photosynth viewer. http://photosynth.net/api/docs/default.html

It allows you to link to different places within a synth without reloading the page and you can choose whether you float directly from one image to another or instead follow a path of other photos from one to the next. Moving from one highlight to the next in this synth is an example of the latter type of transition: http://bit.ly/blueridgehousesynth
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
By the way, I just wanted to mention that I very much like your idea of photographing cemetaries for relatives to view online. I've wanted to do that very thing ever since I saw a synth of former Photosynth community manager Darius Monsef's, but my Nikon is in need of repair and I just haven't made that happen for the past... nearly a year. 

Here's Darius' beautiful example of coverage of a single grave marker: 
In Silverlight: http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=2cd3d3f7-2139-4d99-bf2a-d2930c3c33da
In Direct3D: http://photosynth.net/d3d/photosynth.aspx?cid=2cd3d3f7-2139-4d99-bf2a-d2930c3c33da
Story here: http://bit.ly/psfdmnig

Now, if our objective is to cover larger portions of the cemetary in a single synth then we can't afford to dedicate that many photos to each marker, but I'd still encourage you to take a circle of photos all the way around each stone or tight group of stones before going in for the close ups that allow us to read each inscription.
timjh (Over 1 year ago)
Thanks again for your comprehensive comments. I can now see how, having selected a grave of interest from an index on the church website, I can present the user with a photosynth view of the stone in question.

But - if I might pick your brains again - how can I go in the opposite direction? Can I attach a link to a photo, so that when the user has navigated around the photosynth to a gravestone they find interesting, they can click through to the church website to find more information (such as legible text of the inscription)? Photosynth highlights don't seem to support clickable links. Habe I finally got to a suggestion for a new feature? :-).
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
@Timjh, I'm happy to help.

As to your question: 
"Photosynth highlights don't seem to support clickable links. Have I finally got to a suggestion for a new feature? :-)."

As far as displaying outbound links to other sites from photosynth.net, yes, you're requesting something that does not currently exist. 

If you have someone who can use the Javascript API, though, then you could easily use that to trigger various changes to the webpage that the synth is embedded in, based on where a user is inside of the synth.

For an example of this, see what the Stargate Universe folks did with the Javascript API. 

http://stargate.mgm.com/photosynth/

Notice how the text underneath the synth's title changes as you navigate to different photos (the highlights are a good example of changing text outside the photosynth viewer, based on where you are inside the viewer).
timjh (Over 1 year ago)
Brilliant! The Stargate site is a great example of photosynth integration. No more questions; it looks as if I can't hold off learning Javascript any longer. Thanks again for all your help.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Any time. ツ
Nathanael (1 week ago)
Note that in Photosynth 2 http://photosynth.net/preview movement inside synths is not quite as free (see http://bit.ly/howtosynth2 ).
Share links in Photosynth 2 are also much more primitive, only allowing for selecting which image the synth loads on. http://bit.ly/ps2sharelinks

::

On the other hand, Highlights in Photosynth 2 synths do allow the insertion of hyperlinks in Highlight descriptions.
This means that linking people off to external websites from particular photos (or even different portions of the same photo inside a synth) is now possible.

You can also use this for the purpose that people have been suggesting since Photosynth released in August 2008: to link from a particular place in a synth outward to a specific image in another photosynth or a particular part of a stitched panorama hosted here on Photosynth.net if you wish.
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