Currently at MITH in a Romantic Circles Gallery meeting, listening to Matt discuss his Virtual Lightbox application and applet, created in collaboration with MITH programmer and systems administrator Amit Kumar. What is the Virtual Lightbox?
The Virtual Lightbox is a software tool for comparing images online. Comparison, what John Unsworth calls a “scholarly primitive,” is a basic and probably intuitive operation that is nonetheless not well supported–for images anyway–by conventional Web browser technology; that is, users have no ability to move, juxtapose, or otherwise reposition images beyond the configuration in which they are delivered by a static page layout. As rich image collections continue to come online, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that end-users lack the tools to exploit such resources to their full potential. The Lightbox is one attempt to meet this need.
While the application version requires you to download the software and install it on your computer, you can go play with an online version, if you like. You can also install the applet version on your own site and load it up with your own images.
Other interesting UMD-developed tools for organizing and manipulating images come from the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, including PhotoMesa
and PhotoFinder, both of which are available for download.