This project is now its own Codeplex project
Remember Microsoft Live Labs? They used to be a bunch of innovative guys down at Microsoft. Their team got dismantled a few years ago, but before it happened, they managed to release a bunch of interesting innovations. You probably recall project PhotoSynth, which provided a way for users to stich images together and recreate a 3d environment. Another very interesting project they managed to release was called SeaDragon, which allows users to do Deep Zooming on a particular image. The original version of the tool was using Silverlight (remember that name?). However, a side project to make it web based was initiated about 2 years ago. The project is called Seadragon AJAX
Even though there hasn’t been much work on the project for quite a long time, I decided I’d give it a go, and see how well I could integrate it with SharePoint. For those not familiar with the concept of Deep Zooming, it basically is the process of blowing up an image into several smaller pieces, and improving the display Quality of each of the pieces. The outcome of this process is an XML file associated with a bunch of folder name 0 to X each containing a matrix of smaller images. You can read more on the concept of Deep Zooming at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645050%28VS.95%29.aspx .Microsoft provides a little tool called Deep Zoom Composer which is a spin-off of the Expression suite, and which allows you to create the deep zoom files associated with an image.
You can see a demo of the describe web part on my blog at: