Want Addictive? Try FlickrVision – Catch-All Apps and Gawkables

FlickrVisionThere’s something hypnotic about this – a real time stream of photos being posted to Flickr, showing the location of the person uploading on the globe, which rotates and spins. (There’s also TwitterVision for those more inclined).


Now, a Google virtual earth may be some time off, but these are little hints of things to come – mirror worlds, augmented reality: being able to swim through data and content that’s geo-positioned in a virtual world.

Photosynth being demo’d by Microsoft is a similar preview of the future and it’s astonishing. In this case, it takes photos from a variety of sources (for example, Flickr) to create a 3D model of a ’scene’. The software extrapolates from a pool of photographs of, say, a cathedral, and is able to determine the 3D paramaters of the cathedral and then overlay the photos on top. I have no way to put it into words, it really is jaw-dropping.

“Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) taken from around the Web, Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. Its architect, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, shows it off in this standing-ovation demo. Curious about that speck in corner? Dive into a freefall and watch as the speck becomes a gargoyle. With an unpleasant grimace. And an ant-sized chip in its lower left molar.

“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.

Check out the video from TED and sit through to the end – the creation of a metaverse.

Real World Panoramas
In the meantime, rich content continues, past photos and into 360 degree panoramas, with over 5,000 posted from all over the world on 360 Cities (which, incorrectly I think, bills itself as “The World in Virtual Reality”).

Back Up Your BrainWith all these new applications, thank goodness for EverNote, reviewed in Wired which promises to allow us to back-up our brains.

According to their Web site:

Whether you’re an organizational pro or can’t spell GTD, with EverNote you can capture what you like and find it anytime. Our intuitive UI and advanced recognition allow you to capture and search through notes, mobile phone snapshots, webpage clips, images of printed and handwritten text, emails, passwords, brainstorms, sketches, documents, and much, much more.

So, scribble a note to yourself, e-mail it to your Evernote system, and all random thoughts and phone numbers on slips of paper will be forever retrievable…including on your mobile device. Forget your grocery list? Forget what the point of a blog entry was? Um….hmm. Better go sign up for beta.

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