Deep Dives Reveal Greater Detail in Library Treasures

Posted: Thursday, 29 May 2014 - 11:41am

We are pleased to announce enhancements to the image viewing experience in the Princeton University Digital Library (PUDL).  Users will notice a significant increase in speed of image rendering in general.  In addition, we have introduced a new deep-zoom feature which not only improves the overall quality of images and the viewing experience, but also has allowed us to double our zoom depth on most images.

A finished preparatory drawing (hanshita-e) of Urashima Tarō riding a mythical turtle by Utagawa Shigetoshi (Japanese, active ca. 1850-ca. 1860) from the Graphic Arts Collection.


We are able to provide these improvements through the implementation of two emergent technologies:  LORIS, an open source image server developed and released at the end of 2013 by our very own Jon Stroop; and OpenSeadragon, an open source Javascript library for creating a "slippy" deep-zoom experience in web browsers.

An interesting anecdote about OpenSeadragon: This technology was originally developed in Princeton by Blaise Aguera y Arcas, who also worked at Princeton University Library in the early 2000's. The Seadragon technology Blaise created was acquired by Microsoft in 2006, and later released to the open source community in 2009. Jon collaborated with other OpenSeadragon contributors to ensure compatibility with the IIIF Image API specification and LORIS.

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