Archive for the ‘Infinite Canvas’ Category


What’s Up?

June 9, 2010

It’s been quiet on this blog for a while now. The Seadragon team is still doing awesome stuff, but I’ve moved on to other things, as has Kevin.

I thought I’d update here with a couple of Seadragon-related items:

Happy zooming!

Ian Gilman


Visuwords: the dictionary I never thought I’d want

December 31, 2009

Visuwords is the perfect site for anyone who hated the word relationship section of the G.R.E. or the S.A.T.  It’s a zooming, infinite canvas, word relationship database.  Oh sure, the site calls itself a “graphical dictionary” (whatever that means), but the definitions of the words are almost superfluous (you only get them on a mouse hover, anyway).  Instead, this site feels like it’s illustrating relationships between words, thoughts and ideas.

Start out with a random word, or search for one of your own to have a cloud generated.  Double click on nodes in the cloud to load in their related items.  You can move them around whimsically, if you like, by clicking on a node and dragging it wherever your little heart desires.  When your weather system of words gets too big, they’ve got a pretty neat mousewheel zoom to increase the size of your canvas.  They don’t have springs on zoom or pan, and the mousewheel zoom is not of the zoom-to-point variety, but the whole experience is pretty fantastic, and their data set is amazing.  Check it out.

Kevin Hanes


Wtf is a Pearltree?

December 15, 2009

Great question, and one that I’m glad you asked!

A Pearltree appears to be a user generated idea network set over an infinite canvas.  It features click and drag, but not zooming, to navigate the branching nodes of interest.  As a user, you can create an interest network and connect areas of it to those created by others to grow your… tree.  The following video explains how to use the site:

I must admit that even after tooling around on the site, and watching the video, I am still a little bit lost.  The idea is really fascinating and I love the social aspect of it, but the implementation seems kind of wonky, even discounting the lack of zoom.

Kevin Hanes


Another Funky Side Project

November 10, 2009

Here at Seadragon we are all about pimping cool zooming technology and developments.  From time to time however, we like to release fun little one-offs into the wild and see what response we get.  In the same spirit as our first “Funky Side Project”, Infinite Canvas, I submit for your consideration Snapdragon.


Initially showing a handful of the most recent, popular Flickr tags, we take the opportunity to pull random words from for you to explore as well.  Click on words to see photos tagged as such and click on photos to see their tags.  You can also hit the auto play button and let serendipity take you where it may.

Snapdragon is written entirely in JavaScript (similar to Infinite Canvas and Seadragon Ajax), moving and resizing HTML images and text to give the impression of zooming.

UPDATE: has merged with, so we’re now using Wordnik in Snapdragon.

Kevin Hanes


An Infinite Canvas by Any Other Name

October 28, 2009

Back when Ian created Infinite Canvas, he did so because the technology that he wanted to use simply didn’t exist.  It was a combination of not being able to find the right tool to create an infinite-canvas-style comic and the desire to apply Seadragon’s philosophy to an interesting, albeit niche, space.

Artist Donato Sansone came across the same problem when he tried to create an infinite canvasy, flip-animation… thing.  His response was to create a flip-book of truly epic (or room-sized) proportions and video himself making the magic happen.  I’ve been told that this video contains some disturbing artwork, but the first time I watched it, I hardly noticed over the sound of how awesome it was.


Kevin Hanes


Fast Flip

September 18, 2009

Google Labs has come out with an interesting way to read through some of your daily news, Google Fast Flip.  Essentially placing news pages on an infinte, scrolling,  canvas that allows you to “flip” through articles in a series or one-up view.  No zooming to be had here,  sadly, though it seems to be begging for it; add some constrained or free zoom to this action and you can color me excited!

Google Fast Flip

Fast Flip has received the usual Google design once-over, ensuring that content is your focus, not layout or interaction.  You can use the arrow keys to navigate, but only once you are in the one-up view.   It also feels like I should be able to click and drag to move through the feed, but that seems to be missing, too. Other than these details, it’s pretty slick, quick and easy to use.  Now if only I could add my own feeds to it and really get crankin’.

Kevin Hanes


Infinite Canvas back in business

July 16, 2009

As previously mentioned, we had to relocate Infinite Canvas to a new server. Fortunately the folks at JGate have been very helpful in getting us set up, and the folks at AppJet have kindly redirected the original domain to point at the new server, so all the old links work and everything should function the way it did before. I’ve turned editing back on and everything looks good, so it’s back to our previously-scheduled explorations in visual expression!

UPDATE: The AppJet link no longer works. Please use instead.