File Under: JavaScript, Multimedia

HUGEpic Embeds Massive Images Without the Huge Downloads

Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights in HUGEpic.io.

HUGEpic is a web app for displaying massive images online and browsing them like you would a map. There are several Flash-based tools that can already do similar things, but HUGEpic doesn’t require a plugin, meaning it works perfectly well on both desktop and mobile devices.

HUGEpic means you can add very large images to your pages without forcing your users to download enormous files. HUGEpic works like Google Maps, but for images — only the data necessary for the current zoom level is actually loaded.

Developer Peter Bengtsson launched HUGEpic a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until today that it gained its most useful feature — the ability to embed HUGEpic’s image browser in your own site.

Other nice features in HUGEpic include permalinks for bookmarking or sharing images with friends. The permalinks even remember particular locations and zoom levels within an image, as does the new embedding feature. As you pan around on your image, the position and zoom level are automatically inserted into the HTML embed code. There’s also an option to draw annotations on a layer on top of the image.

HUGEpic is what Bengtsson calls a “little fun side-project” so it may not stand up to massive traffic, but the code is available on GitHub if you’d like to set up your own instance of HUGEpic. [Update: As Bengtsson notes in the comments below, "all images are served from a Amazon CDN with servings from every continent in the world. Also, it's built to be very fast. The home page alone makes over 4,000 requests per second."] For more info on the tools behind HUGEpic — which include a Tornado server with MongoDB and Redis on the backend — see Bengtsson’s original blog post.