Topic: Integration into Windows Live SkyDrive

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td90uk (Over 1 year ago)
It would be nice having Photosynth integrated into SkyDrive don't you think? Also taking over the 20GB of storage to add up to 45GB of SkyDrive storage. Access photos from SkyDrive and have a "Synth it" option. Or is this just me who would like this?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
You're not alone. =)

You're actually proposing a few distinct ideas here: 

1: Shared storage with Skydrive, so that I can use part of my Skydrive storage on Photosynth if I so choose.

2: Presumably recognition and display of my synths within the Windows Live Photos portion of Skydrive.

3: Cloud Computed synths.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Some thoughts and|or difficulties: 

1: I would like shared storage, though it should be pointed out that Photosynth converts each JPG that it uses to Seadragon's DZI format. You would probably still want the original JPGs to be available to download if you're using Skydrive to back things up, but Photosynth absolutely needs to have images in its zoomable format, so you'd end up with redundant copies of your photos in storage, although it could open up a "Download the original image" feature for Photosynth, if the synth author has authorised it.

2: Displaying my synths within Windows Live Photos is trivial and should absolutely be implemented as soon as possible, but this will have to happen by the Windows Live Photos team's design and consent.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
3: Cloud computing has been asked for many times, but as of now, the Photosynth team has not announced any plans in that direction. In Skydrive's case, the Skydrive team would need to provide the processing necessary to run the synther on their own servers.

Currently (and for the foreseeable future) all of the photogrammetry calculations required to construct a synth are run on your own computer and then the results are simply uploaded to the Photosynth website. Because of this current structure, Photosynth does not currently offer its services to photo websites such as Skydrive, Flickr, Smugmug, etc.

Photosynth's calculations are extremely intensive and whereas your machine can do them, usually in the same time that it takes your computer to upload the photos, processing hundreds of people's synths on the website servers would take a monumental amount of processing power.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
If you are interested in seeing what server-side synthing looks like (it certainly isn't a bad idea), I would point you to these websites:

Google Maps attempts to synth any geotagged photo from Panoramio, Picasa Web Albums, and Flickr: 
( )

Bing Maps previewed this same sort of server side synthing of geotagged Flickr photos onto their Streetside panoramic imagery ( ), although Google has a giant head start on collecting panoramic street level photography. Because of this, Google has many more locations that it can match geotagged photos against. Bing Maps has currently only released a Tech Preview of their Streetside Photos feature for three cities and is not currently taking any more submissions, although I am sure that 12 months from now, the story will be much different.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
The latest official word from the Photosynth team that I recall on the topic of server side synthing came from Bert Molinari in this discussion:
OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
I prefer integration too. That will attract the more general public, which will boost the crowd sourcing of photo material of our world. More and more we will be able to reconstruct 3D imagery of it, allowing people who cannot go to the place to enjoy the sights too or for others to decide where to go.

From the video of the interview with the Synth team I already understood that having serverside synthing is currently not very feasible.
But having the local Synther upload to Skydrive instead of the separate Photosynth site seems a good idea to me. Of course Live Photos has to implement viewing and editing of Photosynths the way we have it now on the Photosynth site.

Storage size challenge.. I have been using Live Mesh's 25 GB for years. In Live wave 4 a lot of Mesh functionality is moved to Skydrive's 20 GB, which is insufficient for me. Adding Photo(synth)s, I would not be surprised that storage requirements per account will soon exceed 50 GB.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I, too, used Live Mesh ( ) since the CTP and through the Beta but, to my knowledge, it only provided 5GB of online storage (rather than 25), whereas now that it is being turned into the new version of Windows Live Sync ( ), it can only use 2GB of online storage (which is subtracted out of Skydrive's 25GB).

Now, it is true that by using Live Mesh, you could sync as much data between any two or more online computers which you had added to your mesh and signed into, but any data that exceeded Mesh's 5GB of online storage would only be synced between your own computers - not your Live Desktop. 

I am assuming that this will be the same with Live Sync - whatever exceeds the maximum 2GB portion of Skydrive's 25GB that Live Sync is allowed to use will only be synced between your own personal computers that you have added to your Live Sync list, but you should still be able to share more than 2GB between computers if you leave them on.
OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
Yes Nathanael, I think I am mistaken, sorry. Anyway, I was close to using 5 GB for documents only. The great thing was that I could access from everywhere with any machine, including the public ones. So, not happy now.
Also, no step to integrating Office Live (Sharepoint) and Mesh Synchronnization Storage (Groove). The Office people seem to have won. Looking at what is now becoming a plethora of terms for the same functionality, I am getting the impression that Microsoft is suffering from internal powerpolitics; time to restructure.
We should not forget that the majority of folks on this globe do not own any pc like device.
I have rolled back from Sync wave 4 to Mesh, for as long as it is there.
Ko-Dan_Armada (Over 1 year ago)

New here, discovered Photosynth via downloading Live Beta > Photo Gallery. This is well hidden.

Anyway, I like the idea of more integration with Windows Live, as it is now, it is a separate entity. I use Windows Live a lot, the social networking side is important to me and it would be a good idea for say, Photosynth updates/uploads and commenting to be integrated with this side of things.

At least it's a way to broadcast Photosynth, aswell as adding more functionality to Windows Live.

I hope this is implemented.

Also, I would like some kind of Share option for uploaded Synths like on Window Live Photos.

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, Ko-Dan_Armada, 

I agree that the social side of things is where Photosynth's greatest opportunity for growth is. Imagine if you could tag your friends in your photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery and then those people would be notified via Windows Live or Photosynth when a synth with them tagged in it was published and commented on. I think it would get a lot more eyes on synths.

You've been able to launch Photosynth from inside Photo Gallery for quite a while from the 'Extras' menu... since at least December 2008 when the Windows Live Wave 3 Beta was released, if I'm remembering correctly.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I am wondering exactly what sort of sharing options you see on Windows Live Photos that you don't have in Photosynth. To link to a specific synth, just copy the contents of your browser's address bar after you've clicked a synth's title or thumbnail on a search results page or Photosynth profile page. 

To embed a synth, just click the bracket tags or 'Embed' link below every synth. This will give you HTML embed code to use on any site that allows you to post HTML. (Windows Live always deletes the embed code before you can post it, but that isn't Photosynth's fault.)

To link to a specific place in a synth, just click the 'Share' link that is located underneath the synth viewer.

To have your new synths linked to automatically on your Windows Live profile, go to your Photosynth profile, copy the link to the RSS feed (little orange icon) for your synths, go to Windows Live, add a default blog web activity, and paste the link to the RSS feed into it.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
The Facebook link underneath a synth will automatically generate a link on Facebook with the synth's official thumbnail, title, and description.

All of that said, I would love to see synths embeddable in Windows Live, Facebook and other big social networks. It isn't so much that Photosynth hasn't made this possible, but that Windows Live and Facebook haven't allowed the HTML embed code. There's still plenty of room for growth, though, with the comments which are made on them there able to be displayed back here on, the ability to tag friends from various social networks in synths after they have been calculated, synths able to be navigated together as multiple people chat about what they're seeing and having those sessions be saved to be played back as running commentary on a particular tour of a synth, etc. I would love a Photosynth + Kinect app for XBOX LIVE that enables that live chat and social collaborative browsing of a synth.
Ko-Dan_Armada (Over 1 year ago)

Regarding the Photo Gallery, i'm not seeing this - are we talking about the same thing? I am referring to Live Photos - the online service. If Photosynth could be integrated with Live Photos - whereby you could view them together with photos and videos posted onto Skydrive.

The sharing options you described are fine, but just extremely clunky and not suited for 'consumers' who primarily use Windows Live as a social network tool.

At the moment, when a user uploads a new photo(s) or video - you have the option to share it directly with friends, make it public or specific individuals. A Windows Live email/link is then sent automatically to the recipients - I am hoping this level of ease and functionality is implemented. I find it bizarre that Facebook has some form of automation, but none for Windows Live!!!
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Well... I was talking about two separate things that you had mentioned. ツ

1: When I talked about Photosynth having had integration in Windows Live Photo Gallery (the client software) for a while now, it was in reply to when you had said: "...discovered Photosynth via downloading Live Beta > Photo Gallery. This is well hidden."

2: When I was wondering what sort of sharing options you saw on Windows Live Photos (the online service) that you don't have in Photosynth, I was talking about the online service... as I was in my first two posts above.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
We both agree that Photosynths should be seen on Windows Live Photos (the web service) and that there should be a user-friendly way of notifying a specific list of friends of your new synth, etc. 

That said, I did point out that you could get a link automatically published to your Windows Live profile page every time you make a new synth. Did you catch that part? 

I don't think it's too difficult, either, to copy a link + paste it into Hotmail which you can easily address to whoever you'd like to tell about your new synth or synths.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
As far as the Facebook link provision, it just makes sense. Facebook is much more popular than Windows Live. Windows Live may have many accounts created, but among my list of contacts, the same people are much more active on Facebook than they are on Windows Live. 

It doesn't mean that there shouldn't be a button to automatically create a link with a thumbnail, title, and description for Windows Live. You're right, there should be. As I said above, my vision for what *could* and *should* be done with your Windows Live contact list goes a fair bit beyond just notifying people of comments, etc.

To me, just that button to share a link, thumbnail, and description isn't nearly going far enough, though, so my point is just that Windows Live isn't missing out on much that Facebook is getting. Again, I'd like to see the synth embedded right there on my Facebook or right there inside of the Windows Live Photos page.
quixoteloco (Over 1 year ago)
Is there any update on this ??
OmniSynThesis (Over 1 year ago)
I've commented on this before. For all sorts of reasons it may be not that easy to integrate with Live Skydrive (Photos). I got a new idea recently which I feel brings us a giant step closer to what we want. I suggest that Photosynth becomes one of the services a user can link to on the Live Profile, like Linkedin, Facebook, Flickr and so on. Profile visitors can navigate to the user's Photosynth page using this link. This could also be an option when creating a Photosynth account.
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
Joscelin, I agree with your request for Photosynth to be a supported 'Web Activity' on Windows Live profiles. 

I did mention 10 months ago that you could do this for yourself in a roundabout way by using a default 'Blog' Web Activity ( ) and pasting in the RSS feed for your new synths and panos in there. (In Joscelin's case: )
NateLawrence (Over 1 year ago)
If you want notifications of your own comments, you could add an additional 'Blog' Web Activity and add this RSS feed:

If you want notifications of others' comments on your own photosynths and panoramas, add an additional 'Blog' Web Activity and this RSS feed:

You could even add another Blog Web Activity for your new favorites:

Obviously, it would be much better if there was just an official 'Photosynth' Web Activity that automatically included entries from all four feeds and showed the Photosynth logo in your list of connected services, but by doing what I suggest, you can, at least, get your new content showing on your profile.

For anyone else who is reading this just substitute 'OmniSynThesis' in the links I posted above with your own username.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
Hey Nathan, thanks a lot! That is something already. It seems I can add one Blog RSS feed to my Live Profile only. Is that correct? Anyway, better than nothing. And yes, I do hope that the Windows Live and Photosynth people pick up on this and have this Live Connection for Photosynth. Let's have one for Bing Saved/Favorite/My Places too. From there on we could explore further how we could shape a better experience for Synthers to show of their creations.
Joscelin.Trouwborst (Over 1 year ago)
Oh, with Live Connection I do mean "web activity". However, I think the first is more meaningful to the average user and matches up with the prompt above the list on the profile.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Joscelin, hi. I guess that Windows Live does only allow one RSS feed. I don't know why. 

One way to get around that would be to use a service that combines multiple RSS feeds into one and then add that merged one on Windows Live. 

I don't have any idea about what the best RSS combiner service is, but one of the first in my search results was