IIIF: Unshackle Your Images

How-to Session
Andy Cummins, Cogapp, UK

Published paper: IIIF: Unshackle your images

The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) is an evolving set of application program interfaces (APIs) for image delivery, first created in 2011 by a consortium of international libraries. By serving your images and associated metadata using IIIF, you get the twin advantages of flexible image delivery and interoperability with a growing range of viewers and tools that promote digital scholarship and reuse.

In this how-to session, I will provide a brief overview of what IIIF is, followed by a guide for how to implement it and take advantage of its many features.

IIIF is composed of two APIs. First, the Image API allows on-the-fly generation of images at any size, zoom level, crop area, or rotation, simply by changing parameters in the URL. To implement the Image API, you need to prepare images in a suitable master format and serve them using dedicated software that will convert them on-the-fly to the desired output. I will provide a run-down of the available formats and software, followed by showcasing some examples of websites that already support this standard.

Second, the Presentation API allows you to provide associated metadata (title, description, copyright, etc.), as well as relationships with other images (e.g., for multiple photos of the same collection work, series of photos of different areas of a scroll, or multiple pages of a manuscript). To implement the Presentation API, you need to publish your metadata using JSON. I will provide an overview of how this can be achieved, followed by a run-through of different viewers that allow visitors to view your collection in different ways, and provide a compelling user experience.

Finally, I will give examples of how supporting IIIF can directly benefit your organisation, from the ease of updating website presentation formats, via the advanced features that can easily be supported. I will conclude with some ideas for how IIIF can lead to innovative new ways to present and analyse your collection images.

Bibliography:
At Cogapp, we have implemented dynamic image delivery for several organizations since 2012. Most recently, we have converted the systems used by the Qatar National Library to fully support the both the IIIF Image API and Presentation API, which we have written about at http://www.cogapp.com/blog/iiif-support-qatar-digital-library

We are an active member of the IIIF community, and regularly contribute to the mailing list and community conference calls.