Microsoft integrates Photosynth into Virtual Earth

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Microsoft integrates Photosynth into Virtual Earth

Microsoft has announced the integration of Photosynth technology into its Virtual Earth mapping platform.

Photosynth creates 3D models by analysing and stitching together images of an object.

The integration with Virtual Earth is the company's first attempt to find ways for Photosynth to be used in commercial applications.

The 3D models, or 'synths', use Microsoft's Silverlight technology and can be used across multiple platforms.

The idea is to help consumers, businesses and public sector organisations create more interactive experiences for visitors and clients.

"The integration of Microsoft Photosynth into Virtual Earth marks an important step in enabling businesses to use Photosynth in a relevant, customer-friendly way," said Jeff Kelisky, general manager of mapping and local search at Microsoft.

"With the integrated capabilities of Photosynth, and recently added Silverlight API, our Virtual Earth partners have great tools for creating, sharing, viewing and embedding synths across multiple platforms, and building engaging experiences."

Google Earth already offers 3D models of some areas and landmarks around the world, but does not push the commercial applications of the mapping software in the same way.

Microsoft claimed that this integration allows users to create detailed 3D views of anything from places to products, as well as being able to control where and how they share synths by making them public or unlisted on the Photosynth site.

The combination of the two applications is expected to be of particular interest to estate agents, tourism agencies and hospitality boards, as well the public sector, media and entertainment firms.

Photosynth could even be used for internal business use, such as insurance risk assessment and claim processing, according to Microsoft.

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