Microsoft on Wednesday opened up its Photosynth 3D photo offering to the public.

Photosynth takes a collection of regular photographs and reconstructs them in a 3D environment. It could take Flickr photos of a monument like Notre Dame Cathedral from hundreds of separate accounts and compile them into one, continuous shot of the cathedral and its surroundings.

Users can install Photosynth at photosynth.com. All photos that are added to the site will be public and visible to anyone on the Internet. It is currently only available on Windows-based machines running XP and Vista, and users will have to sign up for a Windows Live ID to access Photosynth.

Microsoft first previewed Photosynth at its 2006 financial analyst meeting, several months after it acquired Seattle-based Seadragon Software, which developed technology to display large images on computers and handheld devices. Microsoft later previewed a more in-depth look at last year’s TED conference.

Source: PC Magazine