An Introduction to the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF)

Bruno P. Kinoshita

2017 Science Coding Conference
Wellington, New Zealand 1-2 August 2017

Who am I?

Bruno P. Kinoshita
  • Software Engineer, NIWA, New Zealand
  • PMC / Committer of Apache Jena, Apache OpenNLP, Apache Commons
  • Contributor of other ASF projects, Jenkins, TestLink, BioUno, GoogleTest, ...
  • Java, Groovy, Python, PHP, Shell, JavaScript, Linux, drawing :-)
  • Software engineering, bioinformatics, fuzzy logic, text processing, GIS, semantic web, NLP, SciArt


  • What is IIIF ?
  • Who is using it ?
  • Standards in the framework
  • Existing implementations
  • Demo

What is IIIF ?

Or Triple-Eye-Eff

  • Group of standards for sharing and reusing images
  • Can serve high resolution images
  • Metadata enriched images
  • Annotations
  • Searching
  • Proposed in 2011, published in 2012, by
    • British Library, Stanford University, Bodleian Libraries from Oxford, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Nasjonalbiblioteket Norway, Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library, and Cornell University
  • One participant institution in New Zealand
  • — @iiif_io —

Some benefits of using IIIF

  • Rich zoom, manipulation of size scale, region of interest, rotation, quality, format
  • Cite, annotate, share (not just give away) with RESTful API's, JSON-LD
  • Authentication through SSO systems
  • Avoid vendor lock-in, reduce of long term costs
  • Combine content from across repositories
  • Global community

Who is using it ?

Can you guess ?



But also ...

  • Universities
    • (Ohio, St. Louis, Stanford, Dublin, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Toronto, Yale, Sao Paulo, ...)
  • Museums
    • (Vatican, British, Carnegie, Cooper Hewitt, Harvard Art, ...)
  • Companies, institutes, foundations
    • (Zegami, text&bytes, TextGrid, synapctica solutions, Sirma Group, digirati, ITHAKA, Wellcome Foundation, Max Planck Institutes, Luna imaging, Klokan Technologies, Internet Archive, Europeana, Getty, 4Science, Luna Imaging, ...)
  • Libraries too!
    • (DPLA, biblissima, France, Sweden, NZ, British, Kyoto, Leiden, Library of Congress, Israel, Poland, Scotland, Wales, Virginia, World Digital Library, ...)

Map of IIIF Participants

RABUN, Sheila, 2017g. IIIF Participants. Google Map

Standards in the framework

Image API

Image API

  • Provides an image delivery API
  • V 1.0 Aug/2012, V2.0 Sep/2014, current version 2.1.1 Jun/2017
  • Specifies a web service to serve images through HTTP or HTTPS
  • URI specifies region, size, rotation, quality, format
  • Can provide technical information about the image for clients


  • URI Syntax
    • {scheme}://{server}{/prefix}/{identifier}/{region}/{size}/{rotation}/{quality}.{format}
  • Original
    • https://PRINCETON/loris/pudl0001....jp2/full/655,/0/default.jpg
  • Rotated 33 degrees clockwise, smaller region, and converted to PNG:
    • https://PRINCETON/loris/pudl0001....jp2/0,100,1000,1000/655,/33/default.png


Image Information request

  • {scheme}://{server}{/prefix}/{identifier}/info.json
  • https://PRINCETON/loris/pudl0001....jp2/info.json

Presentation API

Presentation API

  • Provides information for clients to present image data to human users
  • V 1.0 Aug/2013, V2.0 Sep/2014, current version 2.1.1 Jun/2017
  • Allows to present an image, a painting, two sides of a photography, pages of a book, ...
  • Adopts principles of Linked Data and Architecture of the Web, as well as Shared Canvas data model and JSON-LD


  • Recommended URI Syntax
    • {scheme}://{host}/{prefix}/{identifier}/manifest
  • Example from Biblissima
    • http://BIBLISSIMA/manifests/ark:/12148/btv...485j/manifest.json



IIIF Presentation API (slides)

Content Search API

Content Search API

  • Complements Image and Presentation API's
  • V 1.0 Jun/2016 (with revisions)
  • Allows working with dimensions, image information, and GIS
  • Possible to use a DB, files, SPARQL Endpoint, search server, etc, as long as you can produce JSON-LD
  • Example use cases: searching OCR text, transcribed context, translations, commentaries, metadata, etc

Authentication API

Authentication API

  • Describes workflows to interact with arbitrary third party protocols
  • V 1.0 (current) Jan/2017
  • Talks about HTTPS, SSL, access tokens, cookies, headers,

Authentication API

Audio/Visual (WIP)

  • Its objetive is to go beyond images, and support audio and videos
  • Still work-in-progress

Existing implementations

Existing implementations

  • Image servers
    • Cantaloupe (Java, U. of Illinois/NCSA OS License)
    • Loris (Python, BSD-2)
    • IIPImage (C++, GPL)
    • go-iiif (Go, BSD-3)
    • ...
  • Image viewers
    • Universal Viewer (JS, MIT)
    • OpenSeaDragon (JS, BSD-3)
    • Mirador (JS, AL)
    • Leaflet-IIIF (JS, MIT)
    • IIIFViewer (JS, BSD-2)
    • ...

Existing implementations

  • Annotation servers
    • SimpleAnnotationServer (Java, AL)
    • ...
  • Annotation stores
    • Apache Jena (Java, AL)
    • Eclipse RDF4J/Sesame (Java, EDL)
    • Stanford Triannon (Ruby, AL)
    • Harvard Catcha (Groovy, AL?)
    • ...

Existing implementations

  • And much, much more
    • Image server shims
    • Image API libraries
    • Image tools
    • Presentation API libraries
    • Presentation API shims
    • Presentation manifest tools
    • Content search API's
    • Validators
    • ...


Open Source

OSS contributions while preparing this presentation


  • Ioannis Moutsatsos (@ioannismou), Diego del Yerro, and Gaspar Zaragoza for their feedback
  • NIWA (@niwa_nz)
  • NeSI (@nesi_nz)
  • SciCo 2017 organisers, sponsors, participants
  • Images were created for the presentation, or downloaded from

Questions ???

Some links