In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft Live Labs has (re-)launched Zoom.it (formerly Seadragon.com), a free (high-resolution) image sharing service. If you’re a developer, the most important aspect of the announcement is the Zoom.it API.
Why It’s a Big Deal
Finally, this could bring true image streaming, very much like audio & video
streaming, to the web. Personally, I wish that the Zoom.it service
will do the same for high-resolution image sharing as YouTube
did for video sharing, even if it’s on a smaller scale.
Similarly, it could potentially establish itself as a platform, bringing some of the benefits I’ve talked about previously to every author on the web, namely the power & simplicity of publishing the highest quality image you’ve got, irrespective of file size or target device.
Web APIs: A Brief Introduction
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out the brownbag presentation I gave at Seadragon last year:
Web APIs, Mashups & REST (PDF)
The Zoom.it ActionScript 3 SDK lets you build exciting new applications using Adobe Flash, Flex and AIR on top of the Zoom.it service, optionally combining it with the OpenZoom SDK for super-smooth rendering.
I’d like to point out that the Zoom.it ActionScript 3 SDK wouldn’t have been viable if it weren’t for Live Labs’ generous support of very liberal
crossdomain.xml files on all relevant API endpoints, enabling an equal experience for the most commonly used client technologies. Enjoy.
Zoom.it ActionScript 3 SDK
Browse the front pages of the New York Times, between August 9 and August 15, depending on your time zone. The widget utilizes the Zoom.it API to dynamically create the corresponding multiscale image of the front page and renders it using the OpenZoom SDK.View Demo | View Source
As an intern on the Seadragon team at Microsoft Live Labs, I was involved in the early design of the Zoom.it API (formerly Seadragon.com API) but my deep respect and gratitude go out to the team — Aseem, Goldie, Karan, Jyoti, Jesse et al. — who executed on this idea and delivered this truly elegant first embodiment of it.