Wednesday, May 27, 2015

OpenSeadragon 2.0: Forest-to-Tree Zooming

Today we cross a major threshold!

OpenSeadragon turns 2.0 and brings with it full support for zooming multiple high-resolution images in the same scene. Imagine all the pages of an ancient manuscript laid out on your screen and being able to seamlessly zoom in to the smallest detail on any page.

Back in 2008 when OpenSeadragon (then called Seadragon Ajax) was first released — when IE 7 was Microsoft's top browser and woolly mammoths wandered the frozen steppes — smoothly zooming a single image in pure JavaScript was quite the feat! We could only dream about the sort of cool multi-image scenarios Blaise demoed using a native app with GPU-accelerated code in his famous TED talk.

OpenSeadragon doesn't yet do everything shown in that video, but multi-image opens up some exciting new possibilities! Check out these demos for some inspiration:

OpenSeadragon + Rdio: swim across a sea of high-resolution album artwork, discovering new music as you go.

OpenSeadragon + Flickr: hop from image to tag to image on Flickr's most interesting photos of the day.

Chris Jordan Infinite Zoom: kick back and fill your screen with Chris Jordan's giant photo montages.

If you're new to OpenSeadragon, you should also check out all the great work people have done with the single-image version, such as this gigantic panorama of Mont Blanc and this amazingly detailed story-map of Central America.

Now what are you waiting for? Make some cool multi-image OpenSeadragon things!

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Excited to use this! Thanks, Ian.
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