The following post is from Donovan Hide, a developer working on the Straight Choice project. Donovan explains how he made an increasingly popular picture of the election.

Over 5000 leaflets have been collected, scanned or photographed and then uploaded by the public to the the straight choice.

All these images were very colourful and varied, so it occurred to us that we could make mosaics of each main party leader, composed of all these images.

leaders

To do this, we gathered leaflets from each main political party into separate folders. We then selected a nice portrait shot for each leader and removed the background. This void was filled with the correct Pantone color for the respective party. The faces themselves were then desaturated and the contrast increased.

clegg

Each of these was then processed using mazaika to create a 24,000×24,000 pixel image. The three images were then joined into one and then exported using zoomify to create a file structure made up of tiles of the main image at various levels of “zoomed-in-ness”.

This collection of files was then uploaded to Amazon’s S3 service and from there selected for the Amazon Cloudfront service to improve the access speeds from around the world.

leaflet

With the images hosted in the cloud we made use of openzoom to create a .swf file that allows the user to zoom in and out of the tiled images. The process is very similar to that employed by Google maps and OpenStreetMap to scroll and zoom their imagery. With the source code available it was very easy to add
custom buttons and tweak the zoom settings.

Why not have a play over at the straight choice!