Do you have an idea for an awesome feature we should add… or hate the way we’re currently doing something? Share your ideas and suggestions here.
This is something of a refresh of things that I've asked for before, but it all traces back to the fact that I really find the transitions from Bing Maps into Photosynths to be disappointingly broken. I'm not here to hurt the feelings of whoever worked weeks and weeks on making this happen and I'm aware that much of the fault can be placed at the feet of Silverlight's lack of real 3D support.
Since, in any geo-aligned synth, you now know how that synth's coordinate system fits onto the ground plane and therefore into true Earth coordinates (I'll grant you that altitude may still be a little hazy), the synth images can now be read as belonging to the same coordinate system as the Bird's Eye View photos which are available in many of the world's cities (or equally true, the Bird's Eye View images' coordinates can now be translated into any given geo-aligned synth's coordinate system).
Since scrolling over a city that has Bird's Eye imagery is essentially like navigating a city-wide synth and seems to even use deep zoom images (although not very deep), why can't the transition from Bird's Eye imagery to synth imagery be as smooth as the transition between any other two images within a single synth?
I've requested before that I be able to turn on aerial imagery when in a synth's Overhead View and similarly, I'd love to see Bird's Eye View images which target the area which my synth covers be able to toggled on as part of my synth.
When Photosynth first came out I took screenshots of the Bird's Eye photos of my house at their native resolution and used them in a synth of my yard, but of course the scale was far too different for them to match. With the geo-alignment data, however, you have the added leap of human intelligence telling the system exactly how a particular synth's footprint lies on the face of the Earth and the system already has knowledge of how the Bird's Eye images look at the surface of the Earth, so that knowledge can be and should be connected.
I know that there are complications such as the images not belonging to the same Seadragon collection (or even the same database, for that matter) but being able to swoop up over my synths fluidly and swing back down from aerial photos that other people took to the ones which I took with my own hands is just so exciting that I have a difficult time being patient for this sort of connectedness between imagery sources.
I know that you've all been working hard on improving navigation and I'm dying to know what you've got up your sleeves, but I can't help but hope that you've already got a solution like this cooked, because cropping out the contents of the map viewport as though somehow the rest of the map suddenly doesn't exist, twisting it awkwardly in space with the point cloud sometimes sliding around completely independent of that ortho or oblique imagery is not representative of the quality that I've come to expect from Photosynth. You must do better than that.