HD View is an image viewer to aid in the display of very large images. Advances in techniques for stitching digital images together has led to the creation of images of gigapixel size. Many of these images are panoramic or in full 360 degree fields of view. Since monitors are capable of displaying only a few million pixels at once, only a small portion of a gigapixel image can be viewed at any time. Also, images with wide fields of view are distorted to be saved as 2D files, causing viewing distortions.
Developed by Microsoft Research's Interactive Visual Media group, HD View uses current graphics hardware to provide smooth panning and zooming of images and to handle the transformation of a panoramic image back into the appearance of a natural 3D illusion. A viewer can also zoom into surprising details in an image or zoom out to view the entire 2D panoramic image.
HD View is available as an ActiveX browser component, making it only available to users with Microsoft Windows. Versions are available for the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. Content for viewing can be created by the public and distributed on the web.
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