Zoom.it: When you need to see the forest and the trees

Zoom.it from LiveLabs  allows users to pan around and zoom on image(s) associated with a url to see both larger patterns and details.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

The Zoom.it interface is easy to use. You simply input a url associated with any image into the url field. You can include a link to a Flickr image or to a Web page which includes complex graphics (or text) you’d like to explore in more detail.

For example, I’d like to get a better sense of this cool infographic created by mobihealthnews ( “Sizing up the iPad for healthcare“).

Copying the url of the post onto the url field  and clicking “Create” generates a zoom.it url as well as an embed script. I can use my mouse to pan around and find part of the web image that interests me. Using the scroll wheel on my mouse or the “+” and “-” symbols, I can zoom in and out on any image on the web page. I also can expand to a full-screen view to optimize my experience.

Click on this url to get a better sense of how Zoom.it works:  iPads for health

Instructional strategies

Zoom.it is a useful tool to help learners get the most out of complex figures and images including

You can also use it for simple photo editing. Granted PhotoShop’s your tool of choice for this but this is another option for resizing and quickly identifying a different interesting focal point.

Where Zoom.it really succeeds is as a teaser to get you interested in the potential of Silverlight for creating engaging and interactive Web pages that use Deep Zoom technology. I have to admit it worked on me. I’m going to explore some of the tutorials provided here to start.

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