CNN enlists iReporters to capture Obama’s oath


CNN Worldwide plans to create a unique view of the exact moment U.S. President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath of office on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at noon (ET). Using Microsoft  Photosynth technology, CNN and Microsoft Corp. will produce the first “synth” of a major historical moment.

Photosynth, part of the Microsoft Virtual Earth product family, enables users to create synths, detailed 3-D environments of photos that are identified by minute similarities and then fused together. In this case, the initial images comprise those captured on cell phones, cameras and mobile devices by inauguration attendees of the moment Obama is sworn in as president. From the vast sweep of the crowd to a close-up on the new president’s raised hand, every angle of this historic moment will be frozen in time. To see examples of synths, visit

CNN is inviting people witnessing “The Moment” to take part in a special iReport assignment by e-mailing their pictures to [email protected]. The photos will post immediately to, CNN’s user-generated news community, and shortly after the oath of office, viewers and users can see the resulting synths on-air and online. In staying with CNN’s long tradition of using technology to reinvent political coverage, the network will feature the synths on the Magic Wall. The use of Photosynth within the multi-touch environment will be made possible by the strong relationship among CNN, Perceptive Pixel and Microsoft. 

Visitors to will also be able to explore the images captured in this transformative moment on either their PC or Mac. Photosynth will allow visitors to glide around the Capitol, thus virtually experiencing the occasion from every angle.