Sunday, February 7, 2010

A new way to link or display multi-resolution content

While the content linked is the same as the post below, now you can see something of the content in real time! The downside is that you need to create a separate link for the reader to actually get to the full data. BUT if you want, you can use your mouse to explore this image, and zoom in and out with the ctrl/shift key combination. Not that the resolution in the tiny preview is anything to write home about!

Perhaps the unique value is the ability to embed a moderate sized image within a web page, with which the user can interact freely, zooming in to see more detail as desired. A pretty nice capability for any high resolution source material - either panoramas like the above or just high resolution planar images..

So how is it done? For the full blown images:

  1. Generate your high resolution content; I use AutoPano to render high resolution imagery from multiple image files. I also use KrPano tools to help with the tricky job of making the tripod disappear in spherical images. You could use Photoshop to do this too - but it delivers output that is nowhere near the same quality and certainly cannot deal with technically challenging inputs.
  2. Render the content into a multi-resolution image - again using AutoPano with a sub-license from KrPano to allow really high resolution output. I often also use a GoogeMap plugin from KrPano that lets you embed the location of the image into the web content. The output is in the form of a flash file and image content files.
  3. Publish to the web, with the flash content embedded in a standard html page.
For the tiny images as above, you pick up at step 2 above, downsizing the original hi-res image to be just a couple of hundred kB and simplifying the output files so there are no added logos, navigation keys and map content. Then you can embed the resulting flash content through a simple HTML   command.
Easy peasey.


  1. Seems alot like SeaDragon - designed to stream ultra-high resolution images to any device, even your iPhone!

    Nice TED talk on it to here:


  2. Hey thanks Robin... Unfortunately it does not handle the spherical images properly! If you go to the detailed content done with Flash you'll also see things like active lens flares etc. And of course the maps.

    Sadly, until Jobs stops mucking around at Apple, they're not going to enable flash browsing on any of the iPhone / iPad products, so I guess it's just going to be tough for those platforms... If you are serious about delivering quality imagery, flash is still way ahead of any other options. It's why I'll never buy any Apple gear for web browsing that does not support flash. And why I will continue to deliver my images using flash!