Photosynth as a metaphor for an even bigger challenge

Remember the software that uses lots of casually taken photos of a scene and somehow combines them into a 3D model that you could then navigate in a breathtakingly intuitive way? Well, what if you could do the same with independently created scientific research databases?

It was a pretty amazing achievement to take such random photos and stitch them together perfectly enough to make something so uncannily smooth, but in science, the challenge of stitching together such things as databases from unrelated projects makes devising Photosynth look like child’s play.

This video shows that even when we just try to knit together far-flung databases of research from a single field of study, ‘Neurosciencesynth’ will inevitably be taking interdisciplinary collaboration to dizzying new heights.

This talk was entitled:

Establishing a Global Neuroscience Information Framework

It was given by by Maryann E. Martone, Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Neurosciences and Co-Director of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) at the University of California San Diego.

The event was a Research Open House celebrating the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Calit2, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology

Calit2 is an academic research institution jointly run by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and University of California, Irvine

Here’s the legendary presentation of Photosynth at TED: