Geeks With Blogs
John Conwell: aka Turbo Research in the visual exploration of data

I've been playing with Microsoft Live Labs Pivot to create a hierarchy of collections all linked together to allow someone to explore a hierarchy of data visually. The problem has been the generation time of the entire hierarchy. I end up creating 500 - 600 collections total and it takes hours and hours using the CollectionCreator class that comes with the DeepZoomTools. 

So digging around I found a way to make the actual DeepZoom collection creation wicked fast. Dont use the CollectionCreator! 

Turns out Pivot doesnt actually use the image pyramid generated by the CollectionCreator. Or if it does, its only when you open a new collection it shows all the images zooming in. But once the zoom in is complete, Pivot uses the individual DeepZoom images. What Pivot does need is the xml generated by the CollectionCreator, which is in a very simple format. 

So what i did was manually generate the xml for the collection image pyramid, and then create the folder structure required (one folder per level of the pyramid), and put a single pixel png file in each folder. 

Now, I can create the required files and folders for 500 collections in about 10 seconds. Sweet!

Now you still have to use the ImageCreator to create a DeepZoom image for each image in the collection and that still takes some time, but at least the total processing time is way better.

Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010 9:20 AM Pivot , Visualization | Back to top

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