Curiosity got the better of me today… Over the weekend, I went chasing down a map rabbit hole, hence, my new website background showing the train tracks that used to come onto the “Rice Institute” campus in 1915. (Thanks, Tom…)

Incidentally, the University of Texas has a GREAT digital map archive.

And in going map-crazy, I went a little bird’s-eye-view crazy, looking at Houston in 1891 and Houston in 1873 from the Amon Carter Museum. I LOVE how you can zoom in really closely to view the horse and buggies on the downtown Houston streets!

Then that reminded me of the Google Art Project, which allows you to zoom in on masterpieces like Van Gogh’s Starry Night so that you can see his individual brushstrokes and even cracks in the paint!

So, how do they do this? Well, it seems that the former uses flash and Google uses integrates multiple tools and APIs like Google Street View, Picasa (for its “microscope view”), and… I haven’t quite figured it all out yet.

But then I came across something else that accomplishes something similar — Zoomify.

Below, I am specifically testing Zoomify Express (ie, the free version), and testing the way the YD Zoomify and Shadowbox JS WordPress plugins display the Zoomified images.

Original image size was 24″x36″? I think. When you zoom in, you can see the imprecision of the pencil lines.

Shadowbox JS

  • I’d like to figure out how to make the pop-out shadow box be full screen like this.


YD Zoomify

  • A border would be nice. Could probably be tweaked.
  • Why doesn’t it look like this, with the border and buttons?
  • I think I prefer this over Shadowbox JS.


Next to try/investigate:

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