Royal Wedding goes global on MSN with Shoothill’s compelling User-Generated Mosaic of William and Kate

MSN have revealed a spectacular Deep Zoom mosaic of Prince William and Kate Middleton to mark the Royal Wedding celebrations, and are encouraging their users to get involved too.

Unlike any other interactive tribute wall, the finished mosaic will be filled entirely with photographs submitted by MSN’s users, either of their own wedding, or their chosen profile picture.

Users can upload their image via their PC or with Facebook Connect to be included in the Royal Wedding mosaic alongside thousands of other wedding well-wishers, and will receive a unique URL to follow after submission which zoom’s them straight to their picture inside the mosaic. Contributors can also share this URL with friends using other social engagement tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

Alastair Bruce, Senior Content Manager at MSN UK, said: “Shoothill’s mosaic is a high quality product designed to help users to feel part of the royal celebrations. By uploading their photograph to the mosaic, users can appear alongside thousands of others that all go to make up a giant mosaic of the royal couple. This mosaic forms part of our unique coverage of the event and shows how we’re using the latest web technologies to create an excellent user experience.”

Shoothill, a specialist development firm, have become global leaders in creating rich, interactive experiences which users can zoom into to access a wealth of information and images.  To create the Royal Wedding mosaic for MSN, Shoothill used their proprietary software called ‘MegaFiche’, which allows each cell within the mosaic to be individually referenced and can potentially feature many millions of images in one giant picture.

Rod Plummer, Managing Director at Shoothill, said: “This technology has tremendous potential, particularly in terms of displaying vast amounts of user-generated content. We’re delighted to have been commissioned by MSN to showcase what it can do as part of their Royal Wedding coverage. We wanted to create something that people could not only interact with but actually be part of, and MegaFiche allows us to do that.”

The Royal Wedding mosaic is built in HTML5 and optimised for Internet Explorer 9 to create a fast and fluid user experience. As well as featuring on MSN’s UK portal, Shoothil’s Royal Wedding mosaic has also gone live on MSN sites around the world, including Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, North America and Malaysia.  To do this, the mosaic is contained within an iFrame which is hosted on Microsoft Azure to take advantage of high availability and ensure a consistently robust performance, whatever country users accesses the mosaic from.

Rod continued: “By using the Microsoft Azure platform we’re able to guarantee bandwidth download performance that can cope with the high demand across global MSN sites. Leveraging the cloud-based capabilities of the Azure platform allows us to dynamically upscale the hosted environment to meet any demand required.”

Visit the Royal Wedding mosaic here.

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