Developers at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research have conceived a system called Photo Tourism that will allow the viewing of large photo collections in 3D. For example, if you have 20 photographs of the Eiffel Tower taken from various angles, the algorithms will map them together, and as you drag across the image, the picture "turns" and shows you different angles of the structure.
This is achieved by using a technique called Orbit Stabilization, which fixes "the orbit across all angles for a more consistent view." The result? Smoother transition and a more realistic 3D effect that would probably require long hours of processing on the computer if done from scratch.
Also, to prevent images taken at different light situations from mixing with one another, Photo Tourism employs appearance-based selection, which will scan images of the same scene and remove any pictures that look conflicting from the rest of the bunch.
The actual application for this system has yet to be confirmed, but the developers are probably going to approach community Web-based photo galleries such as Flickr, which has a gigantic compilation of photos, many of which are of the same scene or place of interest. That way, someone who is thinking of going to see the Coliseum in Rome can get a quick overview of the area first on his computer before heading off.
While the Photo Tourism program has not been finalized, we think it will change the way we view and organize our digital photographs in the future.
(Via Crave Asia)