Topic: Viewer in HTML5

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llc23 (Over 1 year ago)
Please get rid of the Silverlight dependency on, and replace it with an HTML5 viewer.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, llc23, 

Microsoft investment in Silverlight ended with the release of SL5 in December 2011.

Earlier in 2011, some of the people behind Photosynth started a new project in Bing Maps, entitled Read/Write World. (More videos)

Their goal was to complete some of the initial Photosynth vision from back in 2006 that the 2008 release never got to, such as linking photosynths, panoramas, web photos, videos, spin movies (inverse panoramas), and map data into one cohesive whole online.

They created a new markup language called RML (Reality Markup Lanugage) to refer to existing formats and add additional position and orientation metadata.

Another of their goals was to have an RML viewer written in web standards and open sourced so that anyone interested could port the viewer to the language/platform of their choice and contribute it back to the R/WW development community.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
HTML5 Canvas, JS, + CSS3 can't handle viewing photosynths (you need access to the GPU to do it right), but can handle panoramas.

Photosynth folks began building an HTML5 pano viewer back in 2011 and put the first iteration up about two months after the release of the Photosynth mobile panorama app's release on iOS.

It depended on CSS3 3D Transforms support, which Internet Explorer did not implement until Internet Explorer 10, which was released as a final build with Windows 8, last October.

When it did, Bing introduced the addition of panoramas to photos and videos as optional image types for Bing's image of the day.

The release of IE 10, also saw the HTML5 pano viewer on come to Windows RT (and later 8) and Windows Phone 8. 

A user has reported that it works on his Chromebook as well.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
In 2011, Avi Bar-Zeev on the R/WW team wrote "Why Microsoft and Internet Explorer need WebGL (and vice-versa)"

Read/Write World went dark in early 2012, taking down their blog + early APIs and several people close to the project left Microsoft later (Gur Kimchi, Daniel Buchmueller, + Avi Bar-Zeev among them), however pieces of their tech continue to surface.

The HTML5 panorama viewer mentioned above is one piece.
It also seems to be surfacing in SkyDrive to view panoramas captured with Windows 8.1's updated camera app.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Christoph Hausner, (author of ) spotted a glimpse of Photosynth's upcoming WebGL viewer at the BUILD 2013 conference.

Hopefully that will launch when IE 11 ships with Windows 8.1 later this year, although that is speculation on my part and I haven't had any statement from the Photosynth team to that effect.

Also shown at BUILD was the return of 3D maps to Bing Maps via WebGL: