Zoom zoom zoomify

Te Ara on screen

As a visual person, I love Te Ara because each story is told through images as well as text. We source images from anywhere and everywhere, but mainly through institutions like archives, libraries and museums. As users, you usually only ever see a smaller image that has been optimised for the web. Behind the scenes we are very lucky to see the more detailed version of every image.

However, using a tool called Zoomify we can allow you to zoom in and see all the detail in an image. We have been using it for years, but until now you have only been able to view it in a small window. We’ve recently updated Zoomify, and we’re now adding the ability to view them full-screen as we gain permission from copyright holders.

Full screen zoomify

When viewing the high-res image, especially full-screen, you tend to notice details you’ve never seen before, like the texture of the paper, emotions on faces or the amount of detail that was hand-drawn into text.

Example zoomifys

So rather than view the image below in a small window, click on the green full-screen button, use the controls to zoom in, and fill your screen with moths (that might not sound particularly appealing, but you will just have to trust me). If you would prefer, we also have the pages covering larvae … and, if you must, butterflies.

Currently there are only around 200 that have the special green button, but we plan to extend it to more images in time. Here is a list of some of the best images that you can now view full-screen:

And last but not least is a popular board game from the 1950’s called Holdson’s Educational Tour of New Zealand. Don’t worry if you end up in Palmy, you can immediately advance to Wellington.

Is your favourite image on Te Ara available full-screen? Let us know if it isn’t (or if it is) in the comments below.

(p.s. sorry for picking on you Palmy, you know I love you.)

4 comments have been added so far

  1. Comment made by Paul || October 14th, 2010

    I am with you too “you tend to notice details you’ve never seen before… like the texture of the paper” You can resist! Outstanding…thanks!

  2. Comment made by Paul. || November 8th, 2010

    Why do you need to get permission from copyright holders to change the presentation layer?

    Some of these items aren’t even in copyright anyway - e.g http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/early-mapping/1/3

  3. Comment made by Heath Sadlier || November 8th, 2010

    Hi Paul, A lot of our agreements with institutions, that supplied us images, included restrictions over the size we could display the image. We have to go back to these institutions and check with them before allowing the feature.

    The one you linked is from Alexander Turnbull Library who are fine with the full-screen view. Over 50% of the content that uses this zoom tool is from the fantastic Alexander Turnbull Library and they all have the full-screen button.

  4. Comment made by David Adams || November 23rd, 2010

    Well done! this make the images a pleasure to view.

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