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Make a 3D Photo Tour with Live Search Maps

29. 4. 2018

Last week I created a tutorial showing how to geotag sets of photos (without GPS to boot).  Live Search Maps collections provide a nice way to show where photos were taken and share them online. However, there’s a way to take the geotagging with Live Search Maps a step further and make it more immersive.

Live Search Maps has a 3D viewing mode in the browser, with the use of a downloadable plug-in (it’s pretty lightweight, so it only takes a few minutes to get going). Using the 3D plug-in, I can take the geotagging a step further by not only placing the photograph where I was standing when I took it, but also by placing the camera in 3D to face the same way I was looking when I took the picture. Additionally, by doing this to a bunch of photos in a collection, you can use the “Tour in 3D” collections feature to make an automatic, online, shared video of your travels.

This video shows the steps I go through to orientate the camera to where I took the picture for two of the places I went to. The first, a picture of St. Louis, uses the buildings to find my location. The second uses the mountains in the distance.

To view the collection I created, go to http://maps.live.com/?v=2&tour=1&encType=1&cid=AF105ADE514CC699!103. The tour button is seen on the collections page below.

Tour3D (3)

- Tim O'Connor (Software Development Engineer)

I love travel – seeing new landscapes, new cities, and expanding the list of places I’ve been. Of course,I don’t have the opportunity to go everywhere all the time, but I still want to see what different places around the world are like. I also want to send pictures to family and friends after a trip to show them where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. As a result, I’m a bit of a geotagging junky. I love recording and organizing where I’ve taken my photos, as well as knowing where – exactly where – others have taken their photos.

Geotagging, for many people, implies going on trips with a camera and a GPS receiver, and then using some custom software to tag all the photos with the GPS data after the trip. Being one who loves geotagging, I have a confession, though: I have never owned a GPS device.

So, how can I geotag photos and share them with family and friends? I can explore the world virtually through many different mapping applications that combine both maps and photos. Some of these allow geotagging (a la Flickr, et al), but that records only individual photo’s locations, not a full tour. What I’ve found out is a way to play around with the Live Maps Collections feature to create a photo tour. So, for those who want to create simple photo tours to share with friends and the world (and don’t want to deal with GPS), here’s how.

This week I’ll show a straightforward, 2D method of creating geotagged collections of photos. This article is only the first of two parts. The second part will show how to take advantage of the 3D features of Virtual Earth to make a fuller video-like geotagged photo tour so you'll want to look out for that post!

Building a Geotagged Set of Photos

There are three parts to building a geotagged set of photos. The first is to upload the photos that I want to tag. The second is creating the geotags, which is done using the Virtual Earth collections. The last is to attach the photos to items in the collection. As a note, you will need a Windows LiveID to be able to create and save collections as well as upload photos.

Step 1

We do this step for you. Simply upload the pictures you want to tag to Windows Live Spaces using the Windows Live Photo Gallery. The first step is covered in a previous article so I won’t repeat it here. Once you’ve uploaded the album you want to tag, view the album.

Step 2

Creating a Collection

Now open another browser window and go to http://maps.live.com. Once you arrive there, sign in (in the upper right-hand corner). You can now create a new collection and save it with your Live ID. Click the “Collections” link in the upper right-hand area of the page and click “Open your collections”. It’s OK that if you don’t have any yet. You can make them after you follow the link.

OpenCollections-(2)

When you’ve clicked the link, you should get something like this where you can add your new collection:

NewCollection-(2)

I’ve already got my collection sitting here (“Moving to Washington”) so I’ll show you how to create an additional collection. Simply click “New Collection” and fill in the blanks. It should look as follows:

 

 
 

 

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