Categoryvisualization

The sun is Constantly Setting (watch it)

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Out of Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino‘s lab comes Constant Setting, a beautiful Flickr-based mashup. Constant Setting shows us photos (released under Creative Commons, tagged on Flickr with sunset and a location), from those places where the sun is setting right now. So what happens is, you get to see a never-ending flow of sunset photos from all over the world, following the sun setting around the globe. Beautiful – make sure to switch to full screen!

Constant Setting, image courtesy Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino Image: Constant Setting, courtesy Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

Constant Setting was created by Alexandra D.S., D’Arcy Saum and Nick Chip. Read more on Alexandra’s blog, and don’t forget to watch the sunset.

Photographs changes video as we know it

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The header seems somewhat to enthusiastic you say? Well, judge for yourself. A piece of software called Photographs from Washington University looks like it might seriously change the way we deal with video for good by combining video with high-resolution photo shots. Says Gizmodo:

Essentially, you shoot some crappy, low-rez video of a still scene. You then reshoot the same scene with a digital camera (with higher resolution). Software can automagically combine these images to upconvert the video AND fix problems in the image— all while compensating for 3D space. Make sense? The remarkable demo will clarify things a bit:


Using Photographs to Enhance Videos of a Static Scene from pro on Vimeo.

It’s hard to tell how easy-to-use Photographs is at this point. But if the software works even remotely as well as it seems here, it’s just a matter of time until we see this pop up in consumer-grade tools. Wow.

Super endorsements: Comic characters for Obama

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Somewhat odd, but here you go: Comic character Savage Dragon endorses Obama, or so says the New York TimesThe Moment blog:

The celebrity endorsements have begun! Savage Dragon, a superhero and police officer whose adventures are published by Image Comics, is throwing his hat in the ring for Barack Obama. The news is blared across the cover of issue No. 137, with the green-skinned hero dressed up for the occasion in a black jacket, crisp white shirt and striped red tie.

Savage Dragon endorses Obama, img courtesy NYTimes / Copyright Erik Larsen Image: Copyright Erik Larsen

Do you know examples of other comic characters endorsing presidential candidates? Please share in the comments…

Please note: While I’m writing this, the Image Comics website website seems to be down and on the Savage Dragon site I couldn’t find a hint to any of this; however, I have no reason not to trust the NYTimes on this one.

The Big Picture: Stories told in photos by Boston Globe

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I don’t know how I could have missed The Big Picture, the Boston Globe‘s amazing photo blog. (It has been around since June). The Big Picture tells stories by featuring stunning, awesome, sometimes scary (and always: huge, i.e. 990px wide) photos, put in context by a paragraph of text.

Waxy interviewed Alan Taylor, the programmer and blogger who created The Big Picture in his spare time while working on some community features at boston.com. (Here’s the full interview.) Alan explains how he goes about collecting the images (partly manually, partly automatic) and how he came up with the idea. One core motivation of his was to free pictures and let them speak for themselves, in most newspapers photos are just used as a click farm for ads:

[…] my parents used to always have Life and National Geographic magazines around the house, I fell in love with the visual storytelling way back then. When I was getting my feet wet in the online journalism world as a developer at msnbc.com, I had the good fortune of working alongside Brian Storm and a few others in MSNBC’s photo department, who were just phenomenal as far as selection, editing and presentation. I wondered why other sites didn’t reach that level. Many have by now, but I was still frustrated by the presentation — either far too small, or trapped in click-after-click interfaces that were in Flash or just acted as ad farms.

I won’t even try to put any of the pictures here, it wouldn’t do them any justice. The Big Picture: A must read.

Tooltips for syncing slides and video

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VCASMO is a pretty neat tool to sync video and slides. Just sayin’. VCASMO syncs videos fromm youtube or similar sources, and slideshows from slideshow.com. It’s a great little mashup, the results can be embedded either 440 pixels wide (as seen above) or 850 pixels wide:


Then there’s the Adobe Air based service Parleys, which looks very slick indeed. I can’t seem to find the embed code, so I can’t really tell if it’s embeddable. Here’s a demo. (Here’s a quick run-through of Parleys.com’s publishing tool.)


Omnisio actually looked the most promising, judging by the user interface and overall smoothness. It seems, however, like Google has aqcuired the service and is integrating parts of it into YouTube, namely into YouTube annotations. Sadly, that means you cannot create new slideshows with Omnisio. Also, the annotations seemed to be the most annoying part in the demos I watched. (I turned off the annotations after a few moments each time.) Let’s see where we’ll see Omnisio again:

</p> <div><a href='https://www.omnisio.com'>Share and annotate your videos</a> with Omnisio!</div> <p>

Update: The latter two services were added after the initial publish.