Archive for the ‘Silverlight’ 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


New Bing Maps, now with Photosynth

December 2, 2009

Bing Maps released a bevy of new features today in their ongoing quest for world domination.  These upgrades revolve around a Silverlight experience (IE and FF only) for their maps page.  Featuring smooth transitions, great performance and a street side view, they are making strides not only for parity with Google, but on a performance level, to surpass them.  My attention however, was drawn to another unique feature, namely their integration of Photosynth into the deepest levels of the mapping experience.  The Bing blog post claims “you can zip down from space down into someone’s house”, which despite sounding vaguely horrifying, is also pretty cool.  The video below demonstrates, if not digital breaking and entering, a similar idea:

You can find more information over at the Photosynth blog about the integration and how to get your synth featured on Bing Maps.  You can also learn more about the full scope of new Maps features on the Bing blog.

Kevin Hanes


The new!

July 30, 2009

We’ve taken all of the pieces of Seadragon technology and wrapped them up in a nice bow with the new Just drop the URL to any image on the web (JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF, etc.) into the box, and we serve up a smooth zooming Seadragon viewer for it. Behind the scenes we’re using DeepZoomTools on an Azure server to handle the conversion, and serving it up using Silverlight Deep Zoom when available and Seadragon Ajax when not. The result is (hopefully) an extremely smooth and simple experience, even though there’s so many bits that make it up.

It all started with a suggestion from Sean Dunn, which rolled into Out of the Box projects by Aseem Kishore and Boyd Ferris. Ben Vanik wrote the Silverlight viewer we’re using, and James Darpinian wrapped it up with Seadragon Ajax so we can use Silverlight if available and JavaScript otherwise. From there, Aseem did the lion’s share of the work to build out the service and tie the whole thing together, with UI design by Shepherd Yang. Ken Perkins kept us all on track, and Jesse Wang made sure the whole thing was solid. Of course everyone on the Seadragon team was involved in one way or another, and we’re all terribly excited to have it finally up on the web!

We’re especially interested to see how people end up using the site. Every time there’s a huge image posted on digg, I’d love to see it posted via so people can see it better. I can see Seadragon being a great alternative to ViewOnBlack for sharing your Flickr images. People can even use it to present their art portfolios on their own sites. If you see or think of any interesting uses, I’d love to hear about it!


Recording a Seadragon session?

July 23, 2009

I’ve just been chatting with Kent Sullivan, a member of the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association, and he’s got a cool Seadragon idea that requires some dev help. Basically he’s looking to record a user’s movements in realtime as they pan and zoom around an extremely large image, so that those movements can then be played back synchronized to the audio of that person talking about the contents of the image.

This sort of technology would be useful for a lot of scenarios. In Kent’s case, it’s part of a multi-year project, in partnership with the Great Northern Railway Historical Society, to digitize and make available thousands of different documents and photos that help describe the history of these two important railroads (now part of the BNSF).

One of the projects he’s working on involves train sheets, the sheets upon which dispatchers recorded the movement of every train across a given geographical area during a 24-hour period. There is a treasure trove of information in these sheets because it helps historians (and railfans, and modelers) understand how a network of trains interacted to move passengers and freight – and what the volumes were, and who was doing the work. Each sheet is about 6’ long x 2’ high.

They’re just beginning the process of scanning the sheets that were been saved by the NPRR, a sample of the thousands that were created down through the years. These sheets take some explanation in order to understand them, however, as they are very densely populated and many abbreviations are used. Fortunately, a few dispatchers who created the sheets are still with us, and one of them has volunteered to describe a sample sheet for recording purposes during his trip to Seattle on August 5.

Kent and I both think that Seadragon would be a fabulous way for this dispatcher to give an interactive tour of the sample sheet. What Kent needs help with is creating a mechanism to record the dispatcher’s movements with Seadragon and a way to synchronize the audio narration that he provides. Could someone in Seadragon community help? Maybe there are some railfans out there? Leave a note in the comments or email

Ian Gilman


New Deep Zoom Composer features

July 9, 2009

Janete Perez on the Expression team has written up intros to some of the new features in the June 2009 Deep Zoom Composer release. Check them out:

Adding Links


Creating Menus


Slideshow Support



Ian Gilman


Deep Zoom on Linux: Moonlight 2.0 preview

May 6, 2009

moonlightSo Silverlight works on Windows and Mac (though unfortunately not PowerPC Macs), but what about Linux? The Moonlight project is in fact just that, and they’ve now released a preview of Moonlight 2.0, which has all the features of Silverlight 2.0 including Deep Zoom. Check it out to see Photosynth, Hard Rock Memorabilia, and all your favorites running in Linux. They even have an entire development tool chain in Linux, so you can not only view Silverlight sites, but also create new ones. It’s just a preview at this point, so don’t expect it to be perfect, you know the drill.

Ian Gilman


Deep Zoom Playboy

March 23, 2009

I’ll be honest; I tried for good ten minutes to think of a funny/clever/witty title for this post.  In the end though, I decided that the current iteration said everything I wanted to say better than some pun or double entendre.

It seems the saucy minxes over at Vertigo have been busy cooking up a surprise for us all.  They’ve taken the design know-how and Silverlight expertise they exhibited in the Hardrock Memorabilia Collection and applied it to the Playboy Magazines Archive (NSFW, though thankfully they’ve laid it out so that the articles are easy to read).  

Playboy Archive


They’ve made some interesting design and navigation choices, the scroll wheel doesn’t zoom, for instance.  Navigation is also a little confusing at first (hint: use the breadcrumb in the upper left hand corner).  Also note that the scroll bar on bottom is a bow tie…   For all of that though, once you learn how to get around, the site is a breeze; and of course, content is king (especially with some Seadragon goodness, liberally applied).

First announced at Mix 2009, this site along with the NCAA Basketball Tournament being webcast in Silverlight should garner impressive intstall numbers.  Just check out the buzz on Twitter.

Kevin Hanes