Topic: How to find synths in Virtual Earth?

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swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
OK, I've searched... very hard, but to no avail. I've googled and read how you're SUPPOSED to find them, but the UI has changed and the "Collections" link is nowhere to be found:( If you geotag it here at, then it's SUPPOSED to be in Virtual Earth. So, I went to Palenque, Mexico to find one of mine, but not in sight:( What am I missing here? I can't be this hard. I consider myself pretty computer savvy, so I can only imagine the problems a casual user must have.


P.S. This is part of my ongoing creation of a presentation on photosynth that I will be giving in the near future.
TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Hey Swami.  I just went to and searched for "palenque".  I then clicked the Explore user-contributed places link.  Your Palenque synth was at the top of the list.

When is your presentation?
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Ah, now I see! Tnx. I was typing my search string in the wrong field, plus the UI has changed since the article I was referencing.

I'm still waiting on a date for the presentation: when they can fit me in. I need some more time anyway, but hopefully, sooner than later as I'm off to S. America, soon.

What is your affiliation with the Photosynth Team, if any? Just curious.

Tnx again.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Oh, I see from your profile: "Photosynth Team Lead." I have some other questions, but will post to separate thread...
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Oops, uh, "TeST" Lead.
TonyErnst (Over 1 year ago)
Swami, Have you seen the new Photosynth Explorer app in the Bing Maps Beta that launched yesterday?  I think it's exactly what you want, and would be a wonderful visual for a presentation.  Sorry we couldnt mention it last week when you first asked, but we were sworn to secrecy until yesterday.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
@Tony: Yes, I've checked it out: very cool:) I will definitely use it in my presentation. In my research I saw a vid of a synth being geoaligned in Bing Maps 3D (or was it Virtual Earth?): FULLY aligned (3D pos, rot, scale, and FOV), including point cloud and orbit control! Perhaps it was a tech preview. Keeping my eyes open!...

P.S. I understand about the NDA thing, np.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Although, after re-reading your post, no what you saw in these talks: 

1: (Anyone else reading this should know that this page requires Internet Explorer to view the video and the slides synchronized to each other.)


was definitely just research code. 

Yesterday's Bing Maps Beta release is sad in that none of the new imagery is available yet in the higher performance Virtual Earth or Bing Maps 3D control. This goes for the 'Enhanced Bird's Eye', Streetside imagery, or, of course most importantly, Photosynths. Even if it is good to move away from using a Direct3D control on the site itself so that Mac and Linux users have the same experience, I hope that standalone apps can still use it and of course you would hope that all imagery types available in browsers would also be in the better control
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
The hope, really, is that Silverlight 4 offers, unless I am misunderstanding things rather badly, access to the full hardware of the computer (this would mean your video card, most importantly, which frees up your CPU as it simultaneously performs graphics tasks faster) IF you run your Silverlight 4 app as an out of the browser app with full trust privileges.

The big question, then, is, "Can you run that same app (once you have verified that you trust it out of the browser) inside the browser with that same full blown GPU acceleration?". If so, then the Photosynth viewer built in Silverlight 4 is set to be the one that brings us back to Direct3D performance levels. (Someone on the PS team shoot this idea down ASAP if I've got this wrong.)

If the above is correct, then you have to ask yourself if the 3D Virtual Earth control might not be ported to Silverlight 4 and at that point you wonder why Worldwide Telescope wouldn't join the party.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Yes Nate, I was referring to the video "Stitching the World and Embracing Real Life with Virtual Earth" (link "1:" above), starting at 40:45. Of course, Virtual Earth is discontinued (unless it lives in legacy somewhere), and I don't see this synth 3D geo-alignment feature in Bing Maps 3D.

I looked at you forum links, and the photosynth UI, but still don't see any 3D geo-alignment. What am I missing? TIA.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
OK,I found it:) It's definitely not the same as I was referring to, though. Also, I couldn't scale up my A-Bomb Dome synth big enough:( The scaling tool just refused to to any bigger. And, I must say that the effect in Bing Maps (2D) is not that impressive, especially not compared to the full-off 3D Virtual Earth. Hopefully, it's just a matter of staying tuned...
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
OK, fixed the scale issue (found controls to scale the MAP). Now, my synth is still above ground level. Hmmm, how to fix this one?...
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Haha, there's a "+/-" control at the bottom of the "loop" which was hidden by the helper thumbnail strip. Well, while trying to align my Mayan Ruins synth I ran into another problem: I couldn't zoom in far enough to make out sufficient detail in the aerial image. I winged it. In the end it probably won't matter in the Bing Map zoom. I'll go test it out.

So, the geoalign tool works... sorta. Could use some improving, though...
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
=) I think you've figured out the alignment ring in full now.

As for viewing synths in 3D, you're right, it doesn't exist publicly. I was hoping that yesterday's beta would fix that but if they plan on continuing work on the 3D control (only located on regular Bing Maps - not the Beta) they haven't announced anything yet.

As for 'Virtual Earth' being discontinued or not, to me it is the same thing as 'Bing Maps 3D'. When Live Search changed its name to Bing on 2009 06 03, they changed the 'Microsoft Virtual Earth' logo to a 'bing' logo and took out the realtime weather feature. Other than that, the current 3D Bing Maps control is identical to the 'Ikonos' version of Virtual Earth which was released 2009 04 09.

Thinking about it, they changed the name of the 3D control to 'Bing Maps for Enterprise' which tells me that they plan to move it over to being the control that you wrap into standalone programs. I can't imagine them not porting the new imagery into 3D tho.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Anyway... I guess when I first saw the geo-alignment tool, I immediately saw that this opened the door for several other things, one of them being able to view Photosynths at the correct heading, co-ordinates, and scale in the 3D control. Now they just need to update the 3D control so that it consumes Photosynths properly.

Here's hoping we'll be able to use it soon.
swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Yes, hoping. I suspect we have not seen the end of development. Everything takes time, and all decisions involve a ranges of factors, many outside the knowledge and control of the end user. That said, Photosynth is still very cool, and still progressing...
Jonathan (Over 1 year ago)
Swami - you're absolutely right when you say you haven't seen the end of development! We're working on lots of cool things, but (and this is no excuse) we do have competing priorities and a rather small team. Thanks for the appreciation!
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
In all fairness, Jonathan, I would have expected the Bing Maps for Enterprise team (specifically the 3D control team) to have handled this. Perhaps that's poor thinking on my part to assume that you would let them handle integration of your product into theirs, but I wasn't coming down on your guys. 

It's just been about 8 months since the last time that the 3D control team released a new version and with the Silverlight version in beta, I'm impatient (no excuse, really) to see all the new imagery in their control - Photosynths included, but also Streetside and wide angle Bird's Eye.