Microsoft recently released a beta version of Silverlight 2 – their Flash player rival – and they’ve incorporated some features from Live Labs very cool Photosynth. Deep Zoom allows users to to view and explore very high-resolution imagery, ‘from a 2 or 3 megapixel shot from a digital camera to gigapixel scans of museum pieces’, in a smooth, fast and slick interface. As it’s a beta release it’s worth regularly checking for updates that might fix any bugs, or improve performance.
Wanting to have a little play I set about making my own Deep Zoom image using a photograph of our beautiful office (left). If you have Silverlight installed you can use it to zoom in close the the photograph below.
To view the Deep Zoom effect you’ll need to have the Silverlight 2 beta plugin installed. It’s currently only available on Windows and intel based Macs. Once loaded you can use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out, or click and drag the image to scroll.
To make the job easier for site developers they’ve also released Deep Zoom Composer for Windows which can be used to prepare the images to be ‘Deep Zoomed’, and here’s a tutorial to help you integrate them into your Silverlight project.