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Seadragon_LogoSome of my best digital photos are usually too large to share on the web via email, Facebook, or on my blog. Full high resolution photos need to be shared in a smaller sized low-resolution “˜preview’. I wished there were a better way to share my large images on Flickr easily.

Guess what – the new Seadragon does just that! You can share any large image you find on the web with this amazing new service from Microsoft Live Labs. Of course, everything featured here on MakeUseOf is free, but there’s more – there is no need to sign up anywhere. Just go to Seadragon and enter the URL of your image. It processes your image link and gives you URL that you can tweet, share on Facebook, or bookmark on Delicious, or whatever you wish. Let’s see how it works.


Suppose I wanted to share this wonderful panoramic high resolution photo of New York’s Grand Central Station by David Iliff, which is graciously shared on Wikimedia Commons:

Grand_Central_Station_Main_Concourse_Rectilinear_projection_Jan_2006

You can see there is no fun sharing the photo in this way. The high resolution photo from Wikimedia Commons is 2500 x 1287 pixels, 1.13 MB in size. Here’s what you do to get your kicks by sharing the original image:

  1. Copy the URL of the full-resolution image.
  2. Go to Seadragon and paste the URL. Seadragon gives you a URL and an embed script code.
  3. Share the URL with anyone or embed the script code on your blog.

That’s it! Here is how it looks:

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Viewer Controls

  • To zoom in, click on the image, or use your mouse wheel, or use the +/- buttons
  • To move around in the image, simply drag the picture with your mouse
  • Use the Home button to reset the view
  • Finally – you must try this out – use the rightmost button to switch between normal and Full Screen view. You can still zoom in and move around in the Full Screen view.

Seadragon also gives you quick access to share your image on Delicious, Digg, Facebook, and Twitter.

Seadragon URL Results

You can use the embed script on your web page, blog, or eBay ad. If you are an artist, you can use it to create your own portfolio. Your viewers can view the high resolution image using any popular web browser on multiple platforms.

Notice how the image loads up very quickly even if it’s large in size. No more waiting for slow downloads for large images. If your viewers have Silverlight installed, the viewing experience is ultra-smooth and fast. But the beauty of this technology is that even if they don’t have it installed, it almost works the same way!

For iPhone lovers, Seadragon Mobile is available on the iPhone App Store. Using this free app, you can view large, high-resolution images on your iPhone.

You can create your own interesting images by creating your own panoramic photos 5 Dead-Easy Ways to Create Your Own Panoramic Photos 5 Dead-Easy Ways to Create Your Own Panoramic Photos Read More , or stunning mosaics Create Stunning Photo Mosaics In Minutes Create Stunning Photo Mosaics In Minutes Read More . Check out these 10 stunning photo blogs The 10 Most Stunning Photo Blogs The 10 Most Stunning Photo Blogs Read More , download free high-resolution photos from this Digital Stock Photography Site, or check out the best sites to download Best Sites to Download Very High Resolution Wallpapers Best Sites to Download Very High Resolution Wallpapers Read More very high resolution wallpapers.

Share your favorite high resolution images via Seadragon with us in the comments!

  1. Doc
    August 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Looks like a ripoff of Zoomify.

  2. pceasies
    August 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Nice, looks a lot like a panorma site (can't remember the name). That image isn't very large in resolution though. Any new camera will take pictures that large. I have some panoramas I made at the Red's Stadium that are 17MB and 8341x3346, and that's one of the smaller ones.

  3. herb
    August 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Now you just need a free place to host such a large file!

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