New features, updated old ones and general news from the Photosynth team.
With the update of Bing Maps last night, all the panoramas you've been creating for the past couple months should now be appearing on Bing Maps. Just click on the map on the view page to see where they are in the world. Thanks for your patience!
Here are some of my favorites:
K2 - http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/#/3rwhxlqcwgd9pvd5
Cairo - http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/#/nnbkbyynb1zh4dp3
Climbing - http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/#/d3w9ft30pj42x17h
Tony, just a question - Why the map tilting and fade when the panorama loads?
The transition into Streetside imagery is so seamless. Since they already use cubic projection for their panoramas and the ICE panoramas that Photosynth hosts also use cubic projection, why not just re-use that transition?
I realise that Streetside is also pulling simplified local geometry along with the panorama cube and DZIs and the ICE panoramas have no local geometry in many cases, but I remain curious.
I would be perfectly happy to zoom down to the bottom face of the cube and let the virtual camera swing up to the horizon as the sides of the cube fold up around us, even if the panorama is not a 360 degree wraparound.
Back to the transition that we currently have in Bing Maps to synths (and now to panoramas)...
Is there no way to extend the rendering of the map tiles beyond what is currently in the viewport before tilting it and swinging down onto it? Seeing the black empty space surrounding the little rectangle of map that was just onscreen while swinging down to the imagery is extremely jarring to me.
I know that it would mean downloading more tiles before performing the computation for the animation (and doing this right as you're trying to download the synth or panorama data), but I was wondering if it would be possible to download tiles of an area roughly twice as wide as the current viewport and add a spotlight style overlay (see the map in a circle in the middle while it fades to black on the edges and corners so that it blends against the empty space cleanly).
I suppose that the other alternative would just be to zoom into the map tiles that are currently loaded a bit before tilting the map back so that not as much empty space is seen as the ground level imagery loads.
I'm also curious as to why, when I'm in Bird's Eye View, you don't auto-rotate to the nearest cardinal direction's 'Birds' Eye' aerial imagery before beginning the tilting of the map and loading of the synth|pano, other than bandwidth considerations. To me it would look far better to actually rotate to the South- or East-facing aerial shots than beginning to tilt the North-facing imagery and then rotating it completely around until it is upside-down and sideways (which completely blows away any sense that this looks even remotely correct).
In any case, I'm glad to see panos on the maps. I just wish that getting in and out of them were more elegantly accomplished.