Gigapixel Images on the iPhone and iPod Touch

The Deep Zoom team at Microsoft has just announced Seadragon, their new application for the iPhone.  Deep Zoom is the technology built into Silverlight, that enables gigapixel images to be browsed over the web.  That same Deep Zoom technology is now available for the iPhone.  This is great news for readers of this blog that have used the Deep Zoom output option in Microsoft ICE or in the HD View Photoshop plugin.  All of the content that you’ve created with those tools can now be browsed on the iPhone.  For example in the picture below I’m showing Gerard Maynard’s 17 gigapixel image of Yosemite.  On the left is the Silverlight viewer on his site.  On the right is the same content being displayed on my iPod.   Seadragon for the iPhone delivers the same smooth pan and zoom experience.  It’s amazing to be able to browse a 17 gigapixel image on a hand-held device.


To get the app, search for Seadragon in the App Store.  When you first load it, it comes with some great default content to browse.  One of my favorites is "Running the Numbers" by Seattle photographer Chris Jordan.  You can also then add your own content.  This comes in three flavors.

(1) Links to your or any other Photosynth imagery (note this isn’t the full Photosynth experience – rather just the source pictures streamed to your phone).  

(2) Deep Zoom Content.  When you generate Deep Zoom content in Deep Zoom Composer, Microsoft ICE, or the Photoshop Plugin, an xml file is generated.  After you’ve uploaded this xml file plus the imagery to your web server, you can then point the Seadragon App to the url of the xml file. 

(3) An RSS feed.  This is a way for you to generate a list of frequently updated Deep Zoom imagery that iPhone users can browse.  I just started one for my favorite gigapixel photographs.  You can see my feed by tapping the ‘+’ at the bottom right of the Seadragon App, then select RSS Feed from the options and type the following URL:

I’ll be updating this RSS feed often so stay tuned at Seadragon on the iPhone.

-Matt Uyttendaele

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