We had our end of year company meeting today followed by a BBQ during which I ate far too much. However my eating habits is not the important thing I wanted to talk about, it was actually two demos by Steve Clayton of DeepZoom (previously SeaDragon I believe) technology being implemented on the web.
What 'Deepzoom' does is allow anyone over the web to zoom into high res images such as a map or the scanned pages of a book just like they were sitting there in front of you. We have now integrated this technology into Silverlight and here are two brilliant examples of the combined technologies in action
Deepzoom and Local.live.com - This is best experienced using a mouse with a scroll wheel. All you need to to is hover over the area you want to zoom in on and scroll 'forward' with the scroll wheel. As you zoom in you will notice it downloads the image pretty quickly, sharpening the image as it does. Pretty amazing stuff !
Hardrock Memorabilia - Now this one really is VERY cool. Hardrock have been taking photos, some very high resolution, of their memorabilia so they can share it with everyone else on the web. The principle is the same with this as it is with the link above but here they have a few cool examples of how you can use high resolution images and stream them over the web. Two things I recommend you looking at on this site
Bo Diddley Guitar - Zoom in on the far left 'bolt' (I am sure there is a proper name for this piece of the guitar but I dont know what it is). You can see the reflection of the guy taking the photo. Also you can see a fingerprint on bit where you strum the guitar (again - I am sure it has a name)
The hi-def stamp - This one really is cool. Zoom in on the stamp on the envelope to reveal pictures of a number of Hard Rock Cafe locations, zoom in on the picture 3 down 2 across. Zoom in on the image underneath the left most Hard Rock Cafe to show the four suits worn by the Beatles. In the middle of the picture there is a photo frame with figures of the four Beatles. Zoom in finally once more to see the detail on the figures. This really is impressive and if you zoom out now by scrolling your scroll wheel down you will see just how far you zoomed in!
Two pretty powerful demos I am sure you will agree and a good reminder for me as to why I work at Microsoft, we do indeed come up with some cool and innovative technology !