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As of Wednesday, Microsoft Bing is using crowd-sourced photos to create a 3-D virtual worlds in its Maps application, according to FastCompany.com. Using a fascinating program called Photosynth (we saw it first in a TED Talk that’s included in the article), the 3-D worlds rely on images across the web tagged with a specific location to create a model that Microsoft undoubtedly hopes will improve on Google’s “street view.” Implications of this are big — from challenges to Google’s hegemony to image copyright questions — but mostly we just think it’s COOL.
Pictory, a new online photo magazine from Laura Brunow Miner, the former editor-in-chief and design director of JPG magazine, launched this week. Pictory draws images from submissions by photographers of every level and nationality, curates them under a specific topic, and asks the photographers to contextualize them with personal, sometimes intimate, captions. It’s a beautiful interface, a great idea, and more proof that magazines are not so much dying as evolving.
Collect.give is another innovative project that launched this week, this time using profits from print sales to support non-profits close to the photographers’ hearts. John Loomis, Kevin J. Miyazaki, Susana Raab, Dalton Rooney, Emily Shur, and Allison V. Smith are each selling one print through the site and have pledged to donate 100% of the profits from their print sales to their chosen charitable organizations. A simple but powerful example of how how photography can improve lives.
This week’s issue of the New Yorker includes an ambitious reimagining of Richard Avedon’s Portraits of Power done by master portrait photographer Platon. This past September, when the world’s leaders were in New York for a meeting of the United Nations, Platon set up a studio off the floor of the General Assembly and made these 49 headshots, which the New Yorker accompanies with audio commentary from the photographer.