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Support IIIF Image API for thumbnailing & tiling of images
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T105789 (panoramic viewer) and some other uses of deep zoom will benefit from having support for generating tiles from large images. I strongly recommend using the IIIF Image API for exposing such tiles; this would also make it easier to reuse Wikimedia Commons images in IIIF Presentation API manifests which may be of interest.

Some features of IIIF Image API include rotation and bitonal variations which we would probably not support. This can be described in the manifest file for the service, I believe.

See also T173346 for general IIIF+Structured Data on Commons ideas.

Could be implemented as a RESTBase-like service, or an API endpoint or Special page hack, or a "404 handler" hack that integrates with Thumbor etc. Not sure best way to proceed at this time, but I may prototype with a Special: page hack to get something working.

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(Copied from T173346)
I'd like to note strong interest on two different occasions from two different people in the last month in a top-tier GLAM that I'm working with, about the possibility of being able to use Commons as an IIIF hosting service for high-resolution images, eg for serving tiles of old maps for geo-referencing to platforms that need to be able to access images from an IIIF service.

The GLAM is quite strapped for cash (or, at least, the relevant departments are), and they can get a much more affordable deal from the georeferencing platform if they can arrange their own image hosting, rather than having to copy all their images to the georeferencing company.

If we could offer this, that would significantly strengthen the business case within the GLAM for releasing best-quality high-resolution versions of their images to WikiCommons, rather than lower-resolution degraded versions -- a subject of significant current discussion and dispute within the organisation.

A couple of pre-requisites for this would be (i) the ability to offer a stable and fast IIIF service with strong reliability, and (ii) the ability to offer IIIF access to a particular revision of an image -- because any subsequent cropping or rotation or rescaling by a Commons user, however well-intentioned, would totally throw out the pixel-referenced georeferencing data.

BTW, I note that the current pilot service appears to be down again T206260, and has suffered from recurrent corruption problems T194956. I know that, myself, I have not been able to use zoom-viewer for any of the large old maps that I recently uploaded (example, example2), which doesn't help in showing off what I hope we would be able to offer.