October 28, 2005
Image Zooming... the public can be such a drag.
A few folks expressed some interest in the zoomview software I included on my museum site. Dr. Petrik pointed out to me however that it may in some cases require the user to download a plug-in. She suggested there were other ways to accomplish this. I did a little searching on the web (only a little) and found a flash based program called zoomify (http://www.zoomify.com/) which is supposed to do the same thing. I downloaded it and have not been able to get it to work yet but I'm probably missing something simple. I looked at the demo's and wasn't all that impressed with the way it makes the transition between the pixilated image and the focused one. The benefit though is that it doesn't usually require the viewer to download any plug-in as most people have flash. The other benefit is that it is free.
Zoomview from viewpoint technologies requires a license key that I was able to beg for. I had to submit a form saying I was using it for educational purposes, which I am. It is a slight pain to have to do that each year but I think the zoom effect is much cleaner. One thing in Zoomview’s favor is that Photoshop 7 already includes the ability to create the zoom image. You only need to incorporate the code into your web page or place it in a popup window. I’ve done both and one isn’t any more difficult than the other.
A question that comes to my mind is at what point do we sacrifice innovation because of user reluctance to take the time to download a plug-in. The zoomview plug-in is easy to download and only causes a moment of hesitation before being able to view the images which once seen appears to have been worth the trouble. I am not comfortable with creating web pages for the least common denominator but I also wonder if that makes me elitist or incredibly out of touch with the public. The guest speaker at last week’s colloquium suggested that the public is lazy when it comes to history and I recall thinking at the time that that was arrogant. Now I’m not so sure. I tend to that the trend seems to be that the public is coming along with regard to moving to broadband and grows in sophistication on a daily basis.
Then again it could be I just don’t want to give up my zoomview for a poor but cheaper substitute….sigh.
Posted by kknoerl at October 28, 2005 02:19 PM