Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Making a Zoomable Image Using Prezi

This post will show you how to convert a series of photos taken at different distances (or different zoom levels), compile them into a "zoomable image" in a small Prezi, (and maybe embed that into a Google Earth placemark).

What do I mean by "zoomable image?" Take a look:

Click "Start Prezi" and then the forward arrow to zoom in and you'll see what I mean.

How do you make a zoomable image in Prezi?

Note that a video is below the instructions that steps you through the process. 

Note that Internet Explorer makes this procedure more difficult than it is in Firefox, Chrome or Safari. Step 8 will not work in Internet Explorer, so use one of these other browsers.

The steps to create your zoomable image are:

  1. Take pictures of a feature from either multiple distances or using the zoom of your camera to give the same effect.
  2. Either download those pictures to your computer or upload them to the web.
  3. Go to
  4. Log in if you have an account or create one if you don't. Everything shown here can be done with the free account. If you are a teacher or student, be sure to sign up for the education account as it provides more features for free. 
  5. Create a blank Prezi -- I suggest not using a template for this kind of Prezi.
  6. Delete the title. We'll create our own later.
  7. Click on the "Insert" button at the top of the edit window. 
  8. Choose "Image."
    • If uploading from your computer, hit the "Select files..." button and upload your picture.
    • If using photos on the Internet, (from Picasa or Flickr, for example), 
      • go to the picture in a window or tab separate from your Prezi. Right-click (or control-click) on the picture to bring up a pop-menu. The pop-up menu includes an option to "Copy Image Address" or something similar. The exact wording is different in Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but they all include the option. 
      • Select that option to copy the image URL.
      • Return to your Prezi, still in edit mode, and paste in the URL in the Insert Image box.
  9. Zoom to the approximate area of your next picture.
  10. Repeat step 8 to insert the next image. 
  11. Align the second picture on top of the first:
    • To move the picture, click and drag on the hand in the picture's center. 
    • To resize, click and drag any corner.
    • To rotate, scroll to the corner and grab the round handle that sticks out from the corner. 
  12. Repeat with each image.
  13. To put in a path:
    • Click the pencil icon on the left side of the screen. 
    • Click on each picture in your series in the order you would like to zoom.
    • The pictures will appear along the left side, showing the order. You can click and drag to reorder. 
  14. Add a title by double clicking. If your pictures have a clear space, like sky, you may insert the title on top of the picture. In the example in the video, the title is above the picture. 
  15. In the past, it was possible to embed Prezis into Google Earth placemarks. At this writing, that feature is not working. When it did work, you simply copied the embed code from Prezi and pasted it into the placemark in Google Earth. 
Click the video to see the steps to create a zoomable image in Prezi.