Why IIIF Images?
IIIF standards for images solve a number of challenges with images on the web:
- Having users download an entire large image file is inefficient and will likely provide a poor user experience.
- Before IIIF there were too many standards for delivering images and institutions solved the same challenges over and over again. Too much duplication of effort for the basics of image delivery.
- The standard has allowed for shared software for delivering images and image tiles for deep zoom viewers. Once these basic needs are met it is also easier to then utilize more advanced shared software.
- Institutions want to share images, but not necessarily give them away. IIIF allows for retaining control and tracking reuse outside of your own site.
- Creating and recreating access images and copying the files around for different platforms is a pain.
- Consistent way to access image derivatives
- Publish once, reuse often
- Standard URL structure for accessing images
- Standard package for information about an image
- Supports rights
- Supports tiling
IIIF doesn’t just keep you out of silos; it keeps you out of dead ends. – Richard Higgins, Durham Uniersity
Even if you are already delivering deep zoom images, by adopting the IIIF Image API you will gain the ability to use a new range of viewers and tools. Your users will too.