Using Google Maps Image Viewer to Post Large Images without Resizing

Apparently within the geography community (and I expect some other places) this trick is well known, but it was new to me and so thought it worth sharing. Using the free Google Maps Image Cutter developed at University College London you can cut up very large images into ’tiles’ and then use the standard Google maps viewer interface to pan and zoom on it. The default is for the picture to wrap, but if you look at the source of the HTML page, change one value prevents this, as can be seen in the example I tested it on here.

Many of the pages I readpointed out that a service like Zoomify already does this. True enough, but a) other than for the most basic package, that is a paid for service b)Zoomify is a Flash-based approach, sometimes that’s not what you want c) this seems to me to give me more control, and can you ever have enough options on how to do things like this? Isn’t that part of what we educational technologists are supposed to do – listen to needs and respond with appropriate solutions?

(As an aside, I found this via another very good post, “How to embed almost anything on your website.” It struck me while reading this that it behooves any institution that still dares to force an LMS on its instructors and learners to create a resource like this, an inventory of techniques that work to bring stuff from outside into that LMS. Banning Javascript includes simply isn’t an option; I understand the risks, but we need to figure out better techniques for the people who should own these concerns (security administrators) to monitor them instead of making end users bear the burden. ) – SWL

Using Google Maps Image Viewer to Post Large Images without Resizing

7 thoughts on “Using Google Maps Image Viewer to Post Large Images without Resizing

  1. Michael, not a bad idea, except as far as i know, no unix users would be able to view it (as I do not think silverlight is shipping for unix browsers). But thanks!


  2. […] This week Sue Waters posted a second article about Flickr and explored possibilities for personal learning networks. She posted about global projects too and discussed Bringing us together and Around the World with 80 Schools. Sue’s Google Reader, Edubloggers, has a range of stories this week including news from Richard Byrne of developments at Google Earth (I noticed too this post about Google Maps by Scott Leslie and this post by Stephen Downes). In her Mobile Technology in TAFE blog, Sue has been revisiting the 31 Day Project (10 January) and links to the 31 Day Challenge wiki. She discussing emailing a new reader (13 January) and running a first time reader audit on your blog (17 January). […]


  3. I like this and think its excellent, One quible tho is that I believe I should be able to change the gfx for the UI. but overall I like this a lot as is viewable on all devices, unlike some of the other viewers. I wish it could be developed more.


  4. Thank you for posting the useful wrap tip.

    I have two questions and I wonder if you know the answers!

    a. Is it possible to set a default so the viewer starts on the centre tile? in other words, that it doesn’t start on the wide view?

    b. I’m having some trouble with some images that simply won’t load in the java application. I’m trying to do 4096×4096 which I understood to be the maximum. If I try smaller versions of the same file they work. Odd, eh?


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