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CNN's 'The Moment' Obama Photosynth is super nifty

January 20, 2009 |  5:24 pm

CNN.com, which has been breaking records and taking names today, also rolled out what could be the coolest social media application of Inauguration Day -- The Moment. After asking viewers to send in digital snaps of the moment of President Obama's swearing-in, CNN used Microsoft's Photosynth technology to stitch together a rich digital tapestry of what seems like hundreds of photos. The montage can then be pulled around, zoomed in on and manipulated, all John King-like.

You can start with a zoomed-out view of the sea of people flooding the Capitol steps, then pull yourself in until you're a few feet from Obama being sworn in with the Lincoln Bible.

Photosynth0_2

Zoom again after the jump...

Photosytnh1

Once more...

Photosynth4

Cool. This brings new meaning to examining history from many angles. 

Unfortunately, to use the feature, you have to download Microsoft's bulky Silverlight product, which is a pain -- but which might actually be worth it to check out this feature. And you can always uninstall it later. The obvious flaw in the idea of "The Moment" is that many of these photos were actually taken at slightly different moments, so it's not really a multidimensional pastiche of a single instant. But, hey, it's good enough for government work!

-- David Sarno

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