Archive for the ‘zoom content’ 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


Infinite Photograph

August 18, 2009

Photo mosaics are nothing new, even though they are super cool and great fodder for zooming. Infinite photo mosaics, however, are even better.

The Infinite Photograph project by National Geographic starts out as a lovely landscape photograph which allows the user to zoom in on a square area of the photo, transforming that grid neatly into a photo mosaic comprised of pictures submitted to My Shot. Zoom in more to get an idea of what you’re looking at, then select a photo from the grid and start the process all over again. Very slick! (And they’ve even got one especially for pictures of dogs.)

There are limitations, of course: though it feels like it probably is “infinite” in that you can keep clicking into level after level of mosaic, some areas tend to repeat the same few photos over and over to achieve the right color. Once the My Shot photograph database has more to choose from, this will be less of an issue. Additionally, it feels clunky to click inside such a structurally rigid grid in order to zoom — but maybe I’m just spoiled by that buttery-smooth Seadragon zooming experience. (Is that too self-serving?)

Kate Welch


Zoom Quilt

July 13, 2009

One of the coolest applications of zooming technology (from an aesthetic standpoint) is the Zoom Quilt projects. Artists work collaboratively to create hugely detailed scenes with a focused center point into which the next artist’s piece zooms, and the next, and so forth, revealing an seamless thread of intricate worlds within worlds.

Zoom Quilt 2
The creativity here is tremendously impressive and demonstrates the power of zooming as a community endeavor. The first Zoom Quilt was done five years ago — pioneers!

Zoom Quilt 1 (2004)

Zoom Quilt 2 (2007)

Kate Welch


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



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.


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


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 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