Monday 15 December 2008

SeaDragon 'returns' - Deep Zoom on iPhone

I *love* my iPhone... and now the original Microsoft Labs codename for Deep Zoom - SeaDragon - has reappeared as the moniker for Microsoft's first iPhone application: SeaDragon Mobile!

There are some nice built-in collections to play with...

Notice the Virtual Earth Maps (Aerial, Hybrid, Roads)... SeaDragon even uses iPhone Location Services to tell me where I am! Virtual Earth on iPhone by stealth?!

It's more fun to view your own Deep Zoom images and Photosynths. Here is a collection of photos from Bhutan (created with DeepZoomPublisher) - press the [+] button in SeaDragon Mobile to Add Deep Zoom Content:

It's even easier to add a Photosynth collection (eg. CraigD)! Since there's a hook to Location Services, I wonder when I will able able to browse "Synths near me" (since Photosynth collections can be geocoded)...

You can also find or create RSS feeds of Deep Zoom images - example to come!

As Tim Heuer says, you can create your own Deep Zoom/SeaDragon images (for iPhone, and everything else) with Deep Zoom Composer too. Download SeaDragon Mobile here if you don't just search in the iPhone AppStore.


  1. Great news lets hope there is more Silverlight mobile news to come -

  2. This should work fine on the ITouch as well, correct?

  3. Yep, SeaDragon should be fine on iPod Touch (with the 2.x software update - for 1G devices).

    Note that I have only tested myself on an iPhone - but it should work.

  4. How do I lok at this image on the iphone?

  5. Erland, according to the Seadragon website the iPhone application already supports PhotoZoom users. Unfortunately I don't see the PhotoZoom option (I expected it to be near the [+] Add screen.

    Unless that option is available on your iPhone, you could try an alternative approach using the RSS Feed option. You can find the URLs you need from your web browser using the 'view source' function -- I've described it below.

    To help you out, I've also created a sample RSS document - in the Seadragon application, use the Add RSS Feed function and type and you will see your PhotoZoom image on your iPhone!


    I created that example RSS using the information below:

    You can find the URL to your image in the HTML -- "View Source" on this page

    and look for the <object > tag and then the <param name="initParams" value="" />

    which gives this url as the Deep Zoom Collection location

    from which you can also determine the Deep Zoom Image URL

    ... you can also guess the URL of the preview (and all other) images, such as (click to view).

    The BAD news is that those URLs are very long and painful to type into the iPhone Seadragon app.

  6. p.s. the above comment response is now a seperate post on Using Seadragon on the iPhone with PhotoZoom images.

  7. Thanks so much for the help Craig :) I will try this myself later this week. Looks like there is some tools and apps to do Photosynting so I wil also make room for a windows installation. It by the way the first reason for me to do windows on my mac. Wish you some nice Christmas Days and happy New Year.

  8. Does the sea dragon iphone app actually use silverlight? I'm guessing that it's served off the silverlight platform, but not necessarily running on a silverlight client??
    Excuse the ignorance, I'm just figuring this whole thing out!!

  9. No, there is no need for SeaDragon to be written in Silverlight (and I don't think it does).

    It's actually pretty trivial to 'parse' a Deep Zoom "file" and all the zooming/panning - see Deep Zoom Viewer and Deep Zoom in Silverlight 1.0 - it's all driven by a couple of XML files and a set of adjoining tile images.

    Therefore SeaDragon is probably written as a native iPhone application that parses that XML then loads/displays the images just like the code I've written in the two examples above. There is no "serving off the silverlight platform" - Deep Zoom stuff can be hosted on any plain old server that can host jpgs and xml files.

    Having said that, C# is available on the iPhone - via the Mono *nix version of .NET and the Unity3D framework (not to be confused with Unity)... really only for games developers right now, but Miguel has hinted at "precompiled Moonlight" applications coming to iPhone one day!


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