There is a community driven art project in Jacksonville Florida, called Imagination Squared. The idea was to have hundreds of members of the local artist community each contribute a small square that they’d decorated. The squares were all a standardized size, and they were all tiled together in an art installation.
Curious as to what people had sent in, I looked through the site. The art page had hundreds of 100×100 pixel thumbnails, and you had to click on individual ones to get to a larger-resolution 300×300 picture. This struck me as an obvious application for the Microsoft Research PhotoSynth/SeaDragon zooming that was infamously demonstrated at the TED conference by Blaise Aguera y Arcas.
I wondered how the Free Software folks had been faring in creating an open-source variant of SeaDragon. Doing some searching I was pleased to find the OpenZoom project. You can see they have a number of cool examples, and I thought the ImaginationSquared project would be an example that would interest a lot of people (the hundreds who contributed squares, at least!)
So here’s the promo video for what I just released the source code to this morning:
Though I’m not going to host the player on hostilefork.com, I pushed the source code out to GitHub today for both the generator (written in Ruby) and the viewer (written in ActionScript 3). I’m also happy to provide built versions of the data and component to individuals who want them:
Neither of those two are languages I’ve used before. So I’ll use the rest of this blog entry to talk about my thoughts on that.