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Deep Zoom at the BBC

Saturday 10 May, 2008, 02:45 PM

The BBC has a Silverlight deep zoom app as part of the web coverage of the ‘Radio 1 Big Weekend’ event. (“Europe’s biggest free ticketed event” apparently.) If you live in the UK and have watched BBC television at all this week, you’ve probably already seen the adverts for the event itself.

The deep zoom app provides a flavour of the event for people who can’t turn up in person – photos of the event will be uploaded throughout the weekend. (And I guess people who did go could try and find themselves in the crowd shots next week.)

From a technical perspective, it’s nothing you won’t already have seen if you’ve looked at the Hard Rock Cafe’s memorabilia site – indeed, the BBC app is somewhat simpler. The main difference is that the BBC’s photo collection that will grow as the event unfolds – not quite live of course, but a bit less static than the Hard Rock application. (And more raw for it of course, but that’s probably in keeping with the nature of the event.)

Deep Zoom and Photo Collections

What I find interesting is that I like this way of browsing photos much more than I thought I would. Deep zoom is definitely one of the more conspicuously fun features of Silverlight 2, but as it’s ultimately a bit of a one-trick pony, I thought I’d be pretty much done with it after playing with the Hard Rock demo.

But it turns out still to be growing on me long after the initial ‘ooh’ factor. I think it’s a surprisingly natural way to present photographs.

I just went to flickr, and coincidentally enough the first picture it showed me on the front page was a shot from a concert. It’s a good picture, but wow the user interface feels flat! Having got used to the deep zoom style of photo browsing, flickr now feels positively broken.

So I want deep zoom for my online photo collections please!

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