CNN captures “The Moment,” kinda…


Using Microsoft’s Photosynth technology, CNN finally has “The Moment” collage online. As much as Wolf Blitzer built this up, it was more of a dud.

While the software had a good selection of pictures to work with, it felt more like a giant photo collage than a 3D virtual reality representation of the swearing in. Also, not many iReporter’s submitted pictures. Most of the pictures were from CNN photographers and a few sparse iReporter’s. It looks at times as if CNN told a photographer to just snap as many pics as they could to make the Photosynth technology work. When you switch to other views farther down the Mall, the number of photos become sparser and sparser.

In some other Photosynths by Microsoft, you can virtual travel over distances and zoom in and out. We were expecting you to be able to jump down the Mall picture by picture and get closer, then travel around “The Moment” in 3D.

Overall, it did not turn out the way we envisioned. We thought it would  end up more like Google Earth’s Street View, but with more detail and more features. The CNN Photosynth was pretty similar to MSNBC’s but with more people, since it was shot during the actual ceremony. For better examples of the technology visit the Photosynth website.