Silverlight 2 and Deep Zoom – Get ready to build your own photozooming collections

By Chris | Posted March 6, 2008 5 comments

Steve Clayton just posted about part of the Silverlight 2 Mix08 demo, specifically a feature called Deep Zoom which is implemented over at http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/. Deep Zoom allows users to smoothly and seamlessly zoom in and out of a collage of images, and was first demoed a year ago at Mix07 by Ray Ozzie. The Mix Online website has a video of it in action.

Now with the launch of Silverlight 2, these zooming capabilities are available for all developers to implement, thereby adding Photosynth / Seadragon technology to their web applications. As if that wasn’t cool enough, there’s something in the works for end-users too (Scoble get those tissues ready!)

For those of you with good memories, we have previously talked about a related Live Labs project – Windows Live PhotoZoom Alpha. Here’s how we described it last time:

“Though not yet released, at a basic level PhotoZoom will allow users to add photos via an upload tool or import from an RSS/Atom feed. These can then be viewed as thumbnails or at their full resolution.  Once processing by the server is complete, the zooming functionality is enabled.”

Yes that’s right, Microsoft is working on a service that allows users to recreate this zooming technology for their own photo albums. As we mentioned last year, the release of this service was dependent on the zooming technology in Silverlight being publicly shipped – which it now is!

If you haven’t yet installed Silverlight 2, you may want to do so in order to experience the demo sites coming out of Mix08 – we’ll let you know when PhotoZoom is available (soon all being well). If you really want to satisfy your curiousity in the meantime, we made a somewhat grainy video of a very old version of PhotoZoom in action. Disclaimer, it probably won’t look too much like this now, and obviously the video was never WaggnerEdstrom approved.

(Image unashamedly stolen from Steve)

Posted March 6th, 2008 at 8:08 am
  • LosHavros

    Now THIS is innovation! It’s good to see the Seadragon technology finally getting some use. I’d love to see something Photosynth-based in future.

  • Ryan

    This is INCREDIBLE!
    I am currnetly making a collage our 350+ pictures from our recent vacation, using the Deep Zoom Composer http://blogs.msdn.com/expression/archive/2008/03/05/download-the-preview-of-the-deep-zoom-composer.aspx. Its turning out great! The software is a bit slow, but the results are stunning.
    Great job Microsoft!

  • tophtucker

    Not working for me. :( Can’t wait.

  • Alber1690

    Not working for me either ;(

  • SoulSolutions

    Its great stuff, if the site isn’t working in IE try the hardrock site in Firefox or IE8 beta if you dare. I suspect IE needed a restart or something ;)
    This is a great tool for silverlight – I think the phrase floating around is “there goes my weekend!”.
    So this is the SeaDragon technology at work here. We hope to see PhotoSynth (automated matching of similar images and creation of 3D models) later this year I hope!
    John.