A while back, I posted about Image Cutter, a program that lets you tile and view any image, e.g. a scanned map, in the Google Maps interface. Microsoft Research’s HD View offers a similar capacity, letting you post multi-giga-pixel images on the web in a flexibly scrollable and zoomable format. The website says that their goals were:
- to allow smooth panning and zooming on large images,
- only download enough data to create the current view (and possibly look ahead to the next), and
- always display the current field of view with an appropriate projection. This means that when zoomed way in you should be presented with a standard perspective projection providing a sense of immersion, and when zoomed out you experience a curved projection so that get a full overview of the scene. In between the projection should smoothly transition.
- to create your own HD View content and present it to the world via the web.
Unlike Image Cutter, HD View supports cylindrical and spherical panoramas. Unlike Image Cutter, unfortunately, HDView requires an ActiveX download, which means it’s Windows only, and currently only works in Internet Explorer. Also, the HD View content creator (hdmake) is only command-line-interface at this time.