Students’ Tribute to Malta’s Sights With Photosynth

It’s called Photosynth and it’s becoming one of the most fascinating computer tools for all those who enjoy capturing their surroundings through photography. In Malta, Microsoft’s free application is also garnering a lot of popularity especially since the national competition launched by Microsoft Malta last January to reward the most creative and innovative class projects for students who use Photosynth to capture some of Malta’s national heritage sights.

The winners of this competition were announced during the EMBED exhibition organized by the e-Learning Centre within the Ministry for Education at the Excelsior Hotel. Microsoft’s participation at EMBED was in collaboration with its partners MITA, Forestals, Malta Experience and Heritage Malta.

During the presentation of the prizes to the six winners, Fabianne Ruggier from Microsoft Malta thanked all the participating students who together submitted a total of 160 entry projects which saw them uploading a staggering 17,000 photos as part of their projects. “The response from students and the teachers assisting them was overwhelming and very interesting. The level achieved in many of the submitted projects proved the capabilities of students to grasp the application immediately and invest effort in presenting their projects,” said Ms Ruggier.

Speaking about the competition, Karl Davies Barrett, Developer Platform Evangelist from Microsoft Malta explained how Microsoft decided to award two winners for the first place, second place and third place respectively. “Some of the criteria that were considered in judging the submissions included the involvement of the students in the project, how interesting the subject was, the number of photos taken, the level of ‘synthiness’ of the project, the experience offered by the project, the quality of the photos and other details such as the use of geo-tags and highlights.”

The winners of the first prize were the classes of Marcelle Degiorgio from Siggiewi Primary and Brian Bajada from St Julian’s Primary, the second prize winners were the classes of Silvana Farrugia from Qormi San Gorg Primary and Maria Borg Vella from Rabat Primary C St Nicholas Collage and the third prize winners were the students of Sharon Micallef from Paola Primary B and Joseph Sam Cutajar from Qala Primary.

Described as the best addition to photography since the digital camera, Photosynth takes your photos, meshes them together and recreates a 3D scene out of them that anyone can view and move around in. Differently from static photos and video, Photosynth allows you to explore details of places, objects, and events unlike any other media and whereas one cannot stop video, move around and zoom in to check out the smallest details, with Photosynth you can. And unlike a photo gallery, the application allows you to feel the spatial relation between the various photos and also creates 3-d renditions with views from above.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft Malta will also be announcing the winners in the professional category. Meanwhile the Photosynth application may be downloaded free from www.photosynth.net

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