Haiti Disaster: MSNBC.com Provides HD Stills

January 20, 2010

While true HD video images online are hard to come by for news coverage, MSNBC is once again providing nearly 360-degree HD imaging for a major news event on its Web site--this time for the harrowing images in Haiti, following its most destructive earthquake in two centuries.

The high-resolution bird's-eye imaging from HD View on MSNBC.com was developed by the Interactive Visual Media group at Microsoft (the "MS" in MSNBC), although the technology is being used on other news sites, such as CNN.com. HD View allows a high degree of user-navigating across a cityscape, such as the mostly devastated downtown sectors of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.

At the HD View site at MSNBC.com, Microsoft says that recent technological advances have led to the creation of images containing billions of pixels.

"Since monitors typically contain only 1 million to 2 million pixels, it is only possible to actually see 1/1000th of such image data at once. HD View allows you to explore the richness and detail available in modern digital images," Microsoft says.

Of course, image quality typically depends largely on the quality of computer monitor being used.

(The HD View software being used for the Haitian imagery is in beta test mode, and may not run on all computers.)

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