It is only consequent that coverage of the eagerly awaited inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States on Tuesday is as crowdsourced, people-powered, and mashed-up as the campaign which got us this (once) improbable President in the first place. And it comes as no surprise that it is CNN, arguably the most innovative player among the big news networks, which is extending the experimental and experiential flair that has been a hallmark of Obamaesque politics 2.0 to the big day itself.
CNN has already demonstrated its ambition to embrace social media with its bold use of Twitter and iReport, the co-opted citizen journalism video site (well, let’s disregard the silly holographs for a moment). As part of its inauguration coverage, CNN will now partner with Microsoft Live Labs to launch a special micro-site called “The Moment” that offers visitors a photosynthed view of the historic event, combining snapshots of citizens with professional footage into an immersive 3D experience: “We’ll take your photos from every angle, combine them with CNN's professional shots, and produce what we hope will be an amazing experience that will be shown live on CNN.” Anyone with a digital camera can participate and take part in recording history. In addition to the Microsoft Photosynth and “The Moment” sites, all of the photos will also be shared via CNN’s iReport.
Photosynth allows a series of two-dimensional pictures to be interpolated into a three-dimensional representation of a moment in time. The more angles and photos, the more complete the rendering. The girth of photos from the inauguration will be particularly well-suited, given that there will be millions of images from thousands of different vantage points.
Also see this TED Talk with Blaise Aguera y Arcas (Microsoft Live Labs) about Photosynth: