Archive for April, 2009

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Cool Things in Seadragon: World Digital Library

April 22, 2009

The World Digital Library is a collection of significant primary documents from countries and cultures around the world.  The folks over there have put them online (as of April 21st) to both promote cultural understanding as well as to provide a resource for educators and scholars.  They’ve also utilized Seadragon Ajax to do so, and the end product is really, really cool.

World Digital Library

Simply select a world region that you want to explore and you’ll be taken to a page containing all of your “search results” and a pane on the left to help you narrow down the items you have available to you.  Picking an individual item will give you a general description and all of the item’s particulars, such as creation date, author, location etc.  One more click on the item will send you into the Seadragon Ajax portion of the site, where you can zoom and pan around the item to your hearts content.  There’s a ton of interesting documents and photos to peruse here, so if you’re having a hard time choosing, start with a personal favorite of mine, the iconic photo of pea-pickers by Dorothea Lange.

The images do suffer from some pixel drift, though this is a product of using Kapil’s Python script for image conversion to DZI. It is also worth noting that this same gentleman did development on the WDL site.  They’ve also changed the Seadragon Ajax UI buttons, but that’s to incorporate a “next” and “previous” button for documents that have multiple pages.  It’s a wonderful site, and I suggest you check it out.

Kevin Hanes

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Hyper-Photos

April 16, 2009

Jean-Francois Rauzier is a French photographer; his website is slick his photographs are well shot, and he shows an eye for composition.  Of particular note are his “Hyper-Photos”.  These are large images set in a Flash viewer that allow for zooming and panning around a large scene.

parishyperphoto

The controls are a little wonky; moving the mouse around pans you, you can only zoom in by clicking and zoom out is a ctrl-click. Further, all of the zooming is done around the center of the image, not the mouse.  The entire experience is marred because of this constant movement by panning, but there is a delightful saving grace.  There are “hot” areas all over the image that you can click on for a detail shot.  There are a lot of them in the apartment buildings in the foreground; take some time and drag your mouse around the image.

Kevin Hanes

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Jobs in the Zoomosphere

April 14, 2009

Working on a zooming project and need some expertise?  A Twitter account has been set up to connect those with the jobs and interested parties with related skills.

Not a whole lot of activity going on as of this writing, but as the economy and zooming pick up steam it’ll be good to have all like minded individuals in one area.  Swing on by, leave a message if you’ve got a job opening and if you haven’t yet, check out the zooming group.

-Kevin Hanes

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Cool Stuff in Seadragon: World Wide Music Scene

April 8, 2009

You may have already seen it on the Seadragon Ajax Gallery, but Tamas Nepusz has an even cooler version on his personal site.

World Wide Music Scene

Some of the features include things like being able to search for a particular band or by last.fm user.  I also enjoy that each band has  semi-transparent album art for a background, though it’s a bummer when an artist occludes another (like when you search for Death Cab for Cutie, or Jeff Beck).

It’s encouraging to see images of this size (300 megapixels) being created in the first place, but it’s infinitely cooler when they get iterated on.  I hope experiments like this inspire people to fill up the canvas that we are trying to provide.

Kevin Hanes

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psychoPEDIA

April 1, 2009

In their own words: “PsychoPEDIA is a NYC-based independent culture network that offers an inside-look at budding movements and standout subjects within the worlds of music, film, fashion, art and sports”.  I’m not sure exactly what that all entails; apparently though, part of it is a bunch of interesting news stories and videos.

psychoPEDIA

Of interest to those of us in the zooming UI space is how the content is laid out on the site.  Initially, you are given a grid of  icons, but click on one and the background changes and the icons slowly disappear, leaving only a single row.  Then, whoosh, you are being panned rather swiftly to a new background image where a video plays or an article of news is shown.  Each piece of content occupies its own space in the site, and each time you go to it, you are arriving at the same “place” and panning past the same set of items.  It’s an interesting way to lay out a site and would be fun if done with free, or semantic, zoom to navigate around the canvas.  Even as it is, it’s good to see sites using a canvas as a metaphor for how their sites are laid out.

Kevin Hanes