I’ve had over a week from my blog due to the pressure of completing a very larger report on my work in Malaysia, but this morning I couldn’t resist – courtesy of a link from Bill St Arnaud, I took the opportunity to watch this short clip from TED talks, in which Blaise Aguera y Arcas gives a demonstration of an amazing development in image manipulation software called Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) which creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. In a part of the video, Blaise demonstrates how, using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web in places like Flickr, he can re-create a virtual 3D view of the scene. Not only that, but with the computer trackball, he could zoom in to incredibly fine detail of any part of the image and view with startling clarity.
“Perhaps the most amazing demo I’ve seen this year,” wrote Ethan Zuckerman, after TED2007. Indeed, Photosynth might utterly transform the way we manipulate and experience digital images.
Developments such as this add to the anticipation I have about the potential of the advanced network that is being developed here in New Zealand – making it much more than simply a “faster internet”. Imagine the potential for this sort of technology in the hands of students, working together to create visual representations of places and events related to their work in classical studies, geography or history for example. Certainly a development to keep an eye on.