Viewing Images

This section highlights the functionality available for image manipulation for research and dynamic use in the classroom.

A Multi-windowed Environment

MetaCat Java Client includes a multi-windowed environment and dynamic manipulation of images. This allows the ability to compare many images at a time – as shown in Figure A. Images can be magnified dynamically as shown in Figure B. It is important to note that the quality of image is dependent on the resolution of the image stored. If magnification of images is valuable, then obtaining higher-resolution scans of images will be necessary. Displaying images of very high resolution is available, but performance of the download can be discouraging in a classroom setting. More likely, high-resolution images should be retrieved prior to the class so that network lag time doesn’t disrupt the lecture.

Figure A. Multiple windows open Figure B. Zooming

The Java client allows for other dynamic manipulation, such as brightness adjustment and sharpening - as shown in Figure C. These adjustments cannot be saved with the image – the image is changed dynamically only while being displayed.

Figure C. Original image at left; after dynamic brightness adjustment at right.

Dynamic image manipulation is ONLY available in the Java client and is not possible in MetaCat HTML client.

The screen shot below shows the image window. Functions can be accessed from pull-down menus located along the top menu bar of the window as well as with pop-up menus. Pop-up menus are displayed by clicking the right-mouse button on the PC, or holding the apple key and clicking the mouse button on the Macintosh.

Figure D. Image window with pop-up menu options displayed. Note the pulldown menu in the rightmost lower corner (showing “Best Fit”). “Best Fit” will continue to display the entire image as the window is re-sized. Other magnification options include 50%, 100%, 150%, and 200%. As the image is magnified, and if it no longer fits entirely within the current window size, horizontal and/or vertical scroll bars will appear as needed to allow moving around the zoomed image. The scroll bars disappear automatically when not needed.

You will note a variety of functions in the pop-up menu. Not all options are explained in detail here – this is giving an overview of the types of functions that can be done. Images can be copied to the system clipboard, for example – this allows the ability to paste the image in other programs, such as Photoshop or Powerpoint. The Copy Link Tag will store the correct html syntax for a link to the image into the system clipboard. This link can then be pasted into another web page such that, which clicked, it will bring up the image. The Copy Image Tag will store the correct html syntax for an image tag in the system clipboard. This will “embed” the image within a web page automatically. <>MetaCat can scroll through search results or presentations one image at a time, starting at any point. (It is possible, therefore, to have many presentations or search results windows open at the same time and be scrolling through them as desired.

The catalog record refers to the “metadata” of an image – the data cataloged to aid retrieval such as title, description, date, etc.) The catalog record can be displayed or hidden. To show, click the “show catalog record” from the pull-down or pop-up menus. The catalog record will be docked to the left of the image. To move the catalog record window to another location on the screen, click and drag any gray area that surrounds the catalog record’s thumbnail icon. Drop the window in the desired position.

Figure E: Screen shot at left shows catalog record displayed, with image set to “best fit”. Screen shot at right shows catalog record displayed, but image magnification set to 100%. Note the difference – the “best fit” option will re-size the image to adjust for the space the catalog record takes. The option to display the image at 100% does not re-size the image when the catalog record is displayed. Less of the image is available for viewing. If more of the image is desired, the catalog record could be closed, or set the magnification to “best fit”, or drag the window to a bigger size. Higher resolution displays are necessary (as is ample RAM) when working with many windows and wishing to display many large images at a time.

MetaCat Java Client offers the ability to select desired images from search results to create custom presentations. The selected images can be copied and pasted, or dragged and dropped, into a new or existing presentation. Presentations can be saved permanently and accessed anytime, anywhere. MetaCat’s presentation capabilities are limited and not meant for polished presentations - such as those that can be created with such programs as Powerpoint. MetaCat, however, makes it easy to group images, drag and drop into desired order, add desired text, and save for re-use. Saved presentations can be accessed via the Internet through MetaCat’s presentation player. Links to presentations can be placed in class web pages.

Note: The creator of the presentation must first give permissions to allow any other account the ability to view the presentation. The user accessing a presentation must also have permissions to view the underlying data by the collection owner. Details will be presented soon but in another section.