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March 26th, 2008

Deep Zoom in to ATLAS

Once of the reasons I've not been blogging much over the last few days is that I've been getting my head around building Silverlight Deep Zoom applications. It's a surprisingly easy to use technology, and the Deep Zoom Composer tool makes it relatively easy to create the image tiles and pyramids you need to create a smooth zooming experience. It's what the Hard Rock Café has used for its absorbing Memorabilia site.

The only real problem is that Silverlight 2 currently only supports a limited set of mouse actions - and the mouse wheel isn't there. Luckily I found some code from one the Expression team that solved my problem (though I did manage to learn about using C# anonymous delegates as event handlers along the way...). That's what really took the time, but it's given me an application that doesn't need a key press - just a mouse. Click and drag to move around, and scroll to zoom in and out.

[Edit: I've added code to zoom in on a mouse click and to zoom out on shift-click]

So what did I do with what I learnt (apart from writing 3,300 words of magazine tutorial)? As it happens I have a pile of images from a trip down into the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. A collage stitch of my images of the ATLAS detector, down in its cathedral-sized cave, comes in at a hefty 28 megapixels - a little large for Flickr or any other photohosting site. However that's ideal for building a Deep Zoom.

Here's the application I built.

Zoom in and you'll see the engineers at work, and read the text on the eight superconducting magnets that surround the detector core. I've seen things in there I didn't realise were there at first!

Living in the C21

I'm just posting on a social network that I've just finished some writing a white paper for another social network, about aspects social networking, that I got through a posting on yet another social network.

I am so post modern.

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