The wikimedia-software should support the usage of ultra high resolution images (>10 Megapixel) better. Most of the time, people don't want to download the entire picture to see a larger version of the image preview. Currently, Wikimedia exposes only two options on a picture's homepage: (1) a preview of width 800, and (2) the option to download the whole image. Often times, the whole image is 5 MegaBytes+, whereas a user only wants to see a larger image of width around 1500 pixels and not 6000.
On Commons we have many high quality panorama images with 50 Megapixel and more. Also scans of old images and maps have such a high resolution.
It is difficult to watch such images. Also with highspeed internet access it needs long to load the 10 or more Megabyte of such an image. With a low speed connection it is not posssible to view.
The solution is to split such images in small tiles for different zoom levels. It's the same like google maps or Openstreetmap works. So we can use the same techology we develop for Openstreetmap integration: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap
So the viewer could work with Openlayers and we only need a little script to produce the tiles.
I program a little (unoptimize) viewer example: http://toolserver.org/~kolossos/zoom-image/zoom-ol.html
Add a few more resolutions to download: 1500 and 3000. This will both save users time in seeing a closeup of an image as well as save on Wikimedia server bandwidth.
For me are this highres images a own mediatype between normal images and video. I can look 15 minutes in such a images and find each time new interesting details. It's like an interactive video because I decide how long I look on each detail.
- The costs would be very small. A few lines of PHP. We could also save traffic because nobody need to download the whole image.
- Google:Highres images from prado
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