Experiments in digital storytelling using IIIF
People have been exploring ways of telling stories about (or with) pictures online since the earliest days of the web. Up to now, the available technologies have been restrictive, hard to author and reliant on proprietary systems like Adobe Flash that are not universally supported. Recently this situation has changed dramatically with the advent of IIIF (International Image Interchange Format).
The examples here each illustrate a different way of telling stories about (or with) pictures.
Users don't need to download any special technology, screen layouts are flexible and responsive across a comprehensive range of devices. There are no non-standard technologies to become obsolete.
The exact same content can be viewed in different ways according to the requirements of the situation and the user's preference. Our engine currently supports five different modes:
- Linear single page: a linear text that can be printed;
- Dynamic click-through: a user-driven image tour with annotations;
- Auto-run: an auto-run version of the click-through;
- Auto-run with text-to-speech: text-to-speech audio generated from the manifest;
- Broadcasting: a presentation mode that uses web-sockets, this allows one guide to give a synchronised, illustrated presentation to a group each following along on their own devices.
The content for each of the examples is specified in XML as an IIIF manifest. The examples here are hand-coded but an automated editing system is a straight-forward next step.
This site was originally created for a presentation at the IIIF conference at the Vatican Library in June 2017, and then updated for Museums and the Web 2018.
Production and software by Cogapp.
With thanks to the following institutions
1. Holbein's Ambassadors
Image: © Copyright The National Gallery, London 2018: REPRODUCTION RIGHTS Hans HOLBEIN the Younger Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve ('The Ambassadors') Google Gigapixel image, licensed for use on http://storiiies.cogapp.com/ in perpetuity.The Ambassadors, National Gallery Online Collection
Text: Cogapp. Adapted from an interactive essay originally published in the Micro Gallery CD-ROM by the National Gallery.
2. Medieval Arab Horsemanship
Images: Public Domain sourced from the Qatar Digital Library.نهاية السؤل والامنية في تعلم أعمال الفروسية Nihāyat al-su’l wa-al-umnīyah fī ta‘allum a‘māl al-furūsīyah أقصرائي، محمد بن عيسى بن إسماعيل الحنفي Aqṣarā’ī, Muḥammad ibn ‘Īsá ibn Ismā‘īl al-Ḥanafī, British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Add MS 18866, in Qatar Digital Library
Text: Cogapp. Based on: A Mamluk Manuscript on Horsemanship, British Library blog post by Colin F. Baker, Lead Curator, Middle Eastern Studies (CC BY)
3. Tarantula Hawk wasp
Image: © Copyright Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. Content supplied directly.
Text: Lee Ismail, Curator of Natural Sciences, Booth Museum of Natural History. Content supplied directly.
4. The biography of a family portrait
Images: Public Domain sourced from The Yale Center for British Art.The Drummond Family ca. 1769, Johan Joseph Zoffany, oil on canvas. YCBA Online COllection.