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Deep Zoom Visio Architecture Diagrams

A few people already have asked ‘How did you do the architecture through to code deep zoom?’.  So here is a 5 minute overview. 

First up, my usual disclaimer… I don’t recommend using this format for real architecture diagrams.  They will have too much detail that will make this process too fiddly and prone to error.  I do however recommend this for Deep Zoom presentations.

Creating architecture in deep zoom is easy.  But there are a few hurdles.  The main issue people face that their diagram software does not allow for minute fonts.  I use Visio, and have exactly that issue.  Here is the solution…


  1. Create your overview architecture.

    Visio Deep Zoom Page 1

  2. Create place holders where you require extreme detail.  A space, an X, a tiny descriptor, whatever works for you.
  3. Create new slides with GIANT versions of the slides you have made placeholders for.

    Visio Deep Zoom Page 3 More Detail
    Visio Deep Zoom Page 2 Database

  4. Either print to PDF and import into Photoshop, or save
    the document as PNG.  Unlike Powerpoint, Visio and other vector drawing
    tools allow you to pick your export dpi.  I use very high dpi for great
    results.  It is probably overkill.

    Visio High Resolution Export for Deep Zoom

  5. Import all the images into Deep Zoom, and lay out the architecture overview.
  6. Export
  7. Done

Note
that if you are doing this as part of a presentation, first lay your
architecture overview slide, then start laying out the pieces
architecture.  Working from the bottom up is the best approach. 
However, you will need to rejig it from time to time, and using ‘layer
view’ in Deep Zoom Composer will stop your brain doing back flips when
trying to find components of the architecture.