Assistant University Librarian
Images are a fundamental information resource on the web, and while viewing them can be straightforward (except for very large images—an increasing need), interacting with them presents challenges, especially in a research context: sharing, citing, analyzing or annotating them is not yet straightforward. The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a new paradigm in working with images on the Web. Rather than a specific technology or implementation, it features a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) through which image-based resources can be presented and consumed. By presenting a framework for interoperability, IIIF enables a new level of richness to images on the Web—delivery from any source, to any user, with any application, in any combination of elements. IIIF effectively shifts images from being on the Web to being first class resources in the Web.
This has led to a “thousand flowers blooming” and there is now widespread uptake of IIIF across the globe, with a growing suite of compatible software, and hundreds of millions of IIIF-compatible images online. Recognizing its potential to both simplify and supercharge web-based image delivery, 11 international institutions* formally organized the IIIF Consortium to guide and support IIIF in June of 2015, and is now calling for additional Founding Members.
This presentation will provide an overview of IIIF, including demonstrations of some of the novel features it enables and different software packages available. It will also discuss the current direction of IIIF specification and community development.
* Members of IIIF Consortium: ARTstor, the British Library, Die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (The Bavarian State Library), Cornell, La Bibliothèque nationale de France (The National Library of France), Nasjonalbiblioteket (The National Library of Norway), Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Wellcome Trust and Yale