A couple of weeks ago we released Photosynth for the Windows Phone. So now you can create 360-degree panoramas straight from your phone, and publish them onto the web. You can either get it from this link (or even easier, just print the Search button on your Windows Phone and point it at this QR Code, and your phone will go to it in the marketplace).
Photosynth can either create a straightforward panorama (where you stand in one place, and rotate the camera for a single image) or a complex 3D model (where you move around, and take lots of photos from lots of angles). For an idea of the power of Photosynth for creating immersive 3D models, pop over to the Photosynth website and explore.
And here’s three ideas for how you can use Photosynth in education:
1. A virtual field trip
Create a 3D model of a place you want your students to explore, eg this panorama of Yosemite Glacier Point. Want to make it more interesting? Hide clues and prizes in the Photosynth for them to find. You could use this instead of a field trip, or for prep work in advance of a field trip. Or get students to create their own whilst on a field trip. The image above is taken from my Photosynth of Westminster Cathedral in London.
I’ve hidden a treasure hunt in this Photosynth, and I’ve got a Microsoft water bottle to send to the first person who emails me to tell me how much the Westminster Cathedral Guidebook has been reduced to in this Photosynth.
2. Keep your school art exhibition open all year
Many schools spend weeks putting together their annual art exhibition in a hall, but then can only keep it open for a few days before it all has to be packed away again. One neat answer is to Photosynth the whole thing, so that students and parents can explore all of the artwork online – and be able to zoom in in huge detail. One great example is Wootton Bassett School, who have put their art exhibitions online for a few years. They’ve even done it as a standard panorama, and an immersive 3D model, so that you can see the difference.
3. Create a campus tour
There are lots of different uses for this:
- Universities can create virtual tours to help with student recruitment. It could be tours of departments, buildings or specific campus areas, and are ideal for both international students, and to help regional or inter-state domestic students who aren’t able to see the campus as easily as those who already live near the campus. For examples, there’s a number of Photosynths, like the Sydney University Quadrangle (complete with headless visitor), the University of San Carlos Arts and Sciences Building (with shortcut navigation) or the University of Illinois Quad (made up of 530 photos)
- Schools and teachers could create tours for future students, like Withrow High School (eg show primary school pupils what their high school will look like), or for parents (like this fabulous example where a teacher has Photosynthed their History classroom to show models made by students)
How to create a Photosynth
Panorama photosynths can be created in the Windows Phone or iPhone app, and 3D immersive Photosynths can be created from photos taken on your phone or camera, and uploaded through the Photosynth app.