Will crowdsourcing take off with Photosynth?

21 Aug

As an amateur photographer I have been watching this Microsoft ‘lab’ project, talking it up since last year in fact, as an example of where crowdsourcing and visual communication could be headed.

Glad to note that it’s now open to us, the hoi polloi. You will need two small plug-ins for the site to work, and adhere to a code of conduct that includes abiding by intellectual property and privacy laws.

I can see how global and local events could be seen and reported.

OlympicSynth: Imagine if Photsynth pulled all the tens of thousands of images from amateurs and Pro-Ams at the 2008 Beijing Games via Flickr and Picasa. We would get a whole new perspective and in-depth look at events such as the disqualification of an athlete for stepping over the line, the tie breaker at a gymnastics final, the Free Tibet protests, the opening ceremony etc.

ReuterSynth: Could news organizations such as local TV stations and newspapers, even global ones such as the AP and the BBC create their own synths and let communities contribute to stories? Not a stretch since some of them are taking contributions from citizen journalists.

Internal CommsSynth: Organizations could let employees feed their intranets through Photosynth widgets to participate in company events.

iPhoneSynth: The widget for an iPhone plugin is just begging to happen, considering how iPhone / iPod users are sharing pictures anyway. Camera phones and digital cameras are waiting to be knitted together.

SecuritySynths. The FBI and SIS could easily pull together real-time synths of cities and buildings, subway systems etc when something on the scale of the London bombings occurs. If you the detail of people and architectural features possible on Photosynth demos (it can capture anything from a logo on a T-shirt to a pack of cigarettes in a piazza) it makes the controversial Google Street View maps quite tame.

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Posted by on August 21, 2008 in Media, Social Media, Technology


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