Prague Old Town Square (Staré Mesto)



Add to Favorites
Report Abuse


This is probably the first synth ever shot and knit together.

I was in Prague in May 2004 for the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) and I wanted to capture the beautiful old town square in a way that was more immersive and three-dimensional than the panoramas I had been shooting (and stitching) until then.

I decided to walk around the perimiter shooting overlapped photos of the building facades, as well as taking a few panoramas to "link" everything together.

When I got back to Seattle, I started collaborating with Noah Snavely and Steve Seitz at the University of Washington on these ideas. Noah was able to create the world's first synth (we were calling them "photo tours") from this data.

We later hit upon the idea of using photos from the Web to achieve the same effect. A few months later, we had the first working "Photo Tourism" system (, which we presented at SIGGRAPH 2006 and which eventually led to the creation of Photosynth.

See if you can find the panorama taken while walking arond the fountain. (Click on the little globe to see the overall lay of the square.) There's a second 3D group taken from the clock tower (use the "Next 3D Group" button in the URH corner).

Enjoy! Rick
Synthy 87%
Views 121729
Favorites 74
Photos 290
Date Created 8/17/2008

Related Photosynths


David-Photosynth-Team Over 1 year ago
Hey Rick -- I'm so glad you put this original synth up. Was it shot with aome ultra-wide lens by any chance? And the square format?
Jonathan Over 1 year ago
If I recall correctly, these were shot with a fish-eye lens and then undistorted.
Rick Over 1 year ago
Jonathan remembers correctly. If you look carefully, you'll see that each of these square images comes with a paired neighbor taken from the same location. I'm undistorting each fisheye into two rectilinear images before giving them to the synther.
fotoflex Over 1 year ago
Hi Rick,
Very good work here.
One question, though; do you mean you have one original and then 'shift' etcetera and then put them both in the synth?
Your synth seems to give a lot more information next to the active frame. I'll try this as well.
vedantbmisra Over 1 year ago
nice work.. synth is rocking and rick as well...
dariusmonsef Over 1 year ago
Well captured... that was a big space to photo-document.
gyana_mca Over 1 year ago
Why it's not working on my pc properly.
Mr.R.Furtick Over 1 year ago
I think that this is wonderful. I love to see what is next.
EagleWatch Over 1 year ago
Good work pal :-)
Sunwide Over 1 year ago
Seemingly seamless pals. Go for betterment. SLR digital camera can capture 60(?) frames / second. However, it still called photography not video yet though. Photosynth, amazing new experience.
ccamillek Over 1 year ago
This is a very beautiful place that you have visited. I hope one day I would be as fortunate.
kernal777 Over 1 year ago
its impressive - but the program is terribly written
VentureRES Over 1 year ago
That's an interesting statement kernal777... are you saying you have a copy of the source code? Or are you just describing it's 'alpha' state? I would choose your answer carefully.
Mathew1979 Over 1 year ago
Looks wonderful..Looking fwd to see more...
czsnow Over 1 year ago
I' don't like this, but will comment later as it develops, keep it simple I' say, (The photography-no fish with process should help).
Vicky1 Over 1 year ago
Is nice the Photosynth I like it.
Phillyrose Over 1 year ago
Simply amazing! Thanks for sharing it. Someday I will do something like this.
LANCER Over 1 year ago
mmcknz Over 1 year ago
Great creations and the graphics is phenomincal lovin it...good job
JerryCONeal1124 Over 1 year ago
Awesome! Keep on developing new programs as great as this one!
buster63 Over 1 year ago
beautiful work,i hope i can be as creative. looking forward to seeing more, more, more
christineread8 Over 1 year ago
this is bloody fabulous i just hope all my photos and future ones turn out like this and i hope future upgrades will be just as good
TiMMiE17 Over 1 year ago
THis is Awesome !! i LoVE it !! and you guys have worked well !! good on you all !!
jwileby Over 1 year ago
mayest Over 1 year ago
New,must learn to use it,but it's great,wel don guys
kico5426 Over 1 year ago
muy bueno, pero esta todo en INGLES ojala pudiera poneerlo en ESPAÑOL.
cat4949 Over 1 year ago
Fantastico. Felicitaciones. Es un magnifico programa y creacion
rajeev12304 Over 1 year ago
This was fantastic.
kirkdorr Over 1 year ago
what is this
kathyacorey Over 1 year ago
Cooolllll!!!!! I am on my way out to shoot my first event location and get it here as soon as I am skilled enough to do so! Thanks Microsoft and UDub!
hanbim520 Over 1 year ago
Rick Over 1 year ago
To answer David's question: yes, I took the pictures using a fisheye lens, and then wrote my own software to extract "square" (planar perspective) images from the fisheye photos before synthing them together.
mzbtower Over 1 year ago
i am trying to get my first synth put on the site
MediaByAndrew Over 1 year ago
Just discovered synth - this gallery in particular means new way of taking photos of the world around me....
RogerRob Over 1 year ago
Looking at some of the Synth'd photos, this definitely opens up a new world of 3D photography. Photos jump out live! Thanks for sharing and for giving us new ideas.
mhallward Over 1 year ago
This is really cool! I love it!!
NicksPk1 Over 1 year ago
wswartca Over 1 year ago
Interesting and a new area for photography. Trust improvements will continue.
qoricancha2009 Over 1 year ago
This is a very good software, I like it and I am trying to learn more about it.

Sincerely Luis Zavala
hudlin Over 1 year ago
i dont understand this program Hahahahahaha
Puuma Over 1 year ago
lovinpics Over 1 year ago
this is too awsome for words rick i just hope a picture junky with only a chip camera can understand a bet of what to do lol
oceanbrisa Over 1 year ago
<rbe.pugnw uabyaoycjw C ,aby yr n.apb BR<!
rinobernal804 Over 1 year ago
very interesting
bullseye80 Over 1 year ago
I really hope I can do something with this as I think it is superb
Len_Altig Over 1 year ago
I have been using various software to stitch pictures since 1992 but this is awesome. Thank you
micadany Over 1 year ago
Excellent job! Congratulations!!!!
kalum Over 1 year ago
well come
camathero Over 1 year ago
Canvas_Bob Over 1 year ago
Very Cool - look forward to stitching soon, just hope I don't stick myself with the needle ;-)
BretBlazer Over 1 year ago
This application is exciting, nice job. I 'm looking foward to trying it soon. Thanks for putting it out here for us. It's great when you see something like this and it gets your creative juices flowing. And it's greater when you see what's produced from the creative mind.
Kindertotenlieder Over 1 year ago
Beautiful job with the early morning light! BTW, the great "Fur Hat" story from Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting took place on the long balcony of the only large palace pictured here.
mkj Over 1 year ago
very nice
pritam.nayek Over 1 year ago
it's Amazing Creativity. Just too Good.Excellent Effort.
MARK33 Over 1 year ago
I am nex and have litle undertanding
salahaly Over 1 year ago
Excellent.It is big leap
almita Over 1 year ago
very interesting ilearned of its
existence in a congress and i was
impressed me is great!!!
chad.tatham Over 1 year ago
a2003 Over 1 year ago
micro-light-01 Over 1 year ago
this synth is like a game, an art class, and a new gift.
i can see this in the way you put your work together, but it doesnt look like work. how long did this take to put together Rick?

Rick Over 1 year ago
To answer micro-light-01's recent question, it took me about a half hour to walk around the square taking photos. Once I pointed Photosynth at the photos, it was done in less than an hour. I didn't have to do any additional work besides typing in my description.
andredd1 Over 1 year ago
Amazing!!! I'm excinting to try it. Great job.
eastpoint Over 1 year ago
Too dark. Do a bit of compensation.
NovoVeritasRealm Over 1 year ago
Following my curiosity...thank you for the wonderful example
joohvitzel Over 1 year ago
adoorei mto boom ...! axei so um pokinhu pesado mais mto boom...
g_curious_studios_44 Over 1 year ago
UNREALlllll Beautiful what can i say.........
davenanmccullough Over 1 year ago
Really Really neet! cool !
Du2bane Over 1 year ago
I always dream of what can I do to make pictures better; something besides the everyday flat photos. I did have dream of wondering how pictures can be viewed in 3D without the 3D viewer but trashed that thought because I am not a creator. Thank you gentlemen for being the creators. Now I have something to show my two sons and swear I did my first photosynth without any help. My won't they be amazed!!
Rick Over 1 year ago
Thanks for all the great comments and words of encouragement! I'm looking forward to exploring all of the synths that you are all creating as well.
windy.0302h Over 1 year ago
fangteacher Over 1 year ago
I have a good advice, Can we choice the style of auto sildeshow play, just like 'from top to the bottom',or 'from east to west',and let the view of screen more smoothly. Maybe there need some technic of buffer。

Can you hear my voice,the great programmers!

thank you!~
ketty Over 1 year ago
Splendid shot.Old town square is my favorite place too. Where you find people taking walk, breaks, eating and taking pictures. There atmosphere is very friendly and touristic.
You need to be Signed In to add a comment.
New to Photosynth? Sign Up for a free account.