This document is a companion to the IIIF Image API Specification, Version 3.0. It describes the changes to the API specification made in this major release, including ones that are backwards incompatible with version 2.1.1, the previous version.
The following changes are backwards incompatible with version 2.1.1 of the Image API.
Per the deprecation warning in the previous version, the value
full is no longer allowed for the size parameter,
max must be used instead.
Unless prefixed with a caret (
^), the value of the size parameter must not result in an image larger than the extracted region, and attempts to do so must generate an error response. Previous versions allowed implementations to optionally and implicitly support scaling up. The
sizeAboveFull feature name was also removed. Servers may still support upscaling by indicating that they support the
Per the deprecation warning and the inconsistency warning about the size parameter in the previous version, the canonical form of the size parameter is now
w,h unless the maximum size is requested, in which case the canonical form is now
max. This resolves the inconsistency between the server-preferred values in the
sizes object, and the canonical form of the size parameter. In order to request preferred sizes, a client should use the
height values from
sizes unmodified to build the
w,h size to request. Clients should also use canonical form of the size parameter
w,h when constructing tile requests.
Several existing properties were renamed for consistency with the Presentation API, developer convenience, or to better reflect the intended semantics. Some of the semantics were also clarified based on implementation experience during previous versions.
image.id) instead of the square-brackets based equivalent needed with the
@ character (
image['@id']). This follows JSON-LD community best practices established by schema.org, the JSON-LD, Web Annotation and Social Web working groups.
logo properties have been removed to better separate concerns between the Image and Presentation APIs. Both properties continue to be available in the Presentation API.
license property was renamed to
rights to accommodate both rights statements and usage licenses. The value is constrained to be a single URI, an array is no longer permitted. The value is further constrained to allow only Creative Commons URIs, RightsStatements.org URIs and URIs registered as extensions. This additional constraint is to allow clients to treat the property as an enumeration rather than free text, and implement URI specific behavior.
1.2.4. Require the
type property on image information document and external references, with new values
type property with a single value is now required at the top level of the image information document (
info.json), and any externally referenced resources including content resources such as further images and services. This serves several purposes, including facilitating object mapping code libraries, and forcing the serialization to generate a JSON object for the resource, not just a string with the resource’s URI. The values for
type have been changed to version-specific strings that avoid the namespace structure, for example from
iiif:Image in 2.1 to
ImageService3 in 3.0. Note that the
@type property is used only when referring to an object from older specifications such as the Authentication API 1.0. The
type property is optional for entries in the tiles (
Tile) and sizes (
A list of allowed values for
@type when referring to services from older IIIF specifications is given in the services annex document.
profile property must have a single value that is a compliance level string. The property value must not be an array as in previous versions, and features supported beyond those specified are instead described in the new
In version 2.1 the value of the
service property could be a single value or an array of objects, the value must now be an array of objects.
See issue #1131.
sizeByWhDistorted has no useful meaning separate from
sizeByWh and was thus removed.
See issue #879.
In the Presentation API and here, a new pattern has been adopted for all textual values of a JSON object with the language code as the key (or
none if the language is not known) and the content as a string within an array as the value. This pattern is much easier to implement and use than the previous
@language tuples pattern.
Expectations around the implementation of content negotiation were added.
See issue #1685.
The URI of the context document was updated for the new major version, and thus the value of the
@context property uses the new value of
http://iiif.io/api/image/3/context.json, or includes it as the last item in an array.
See issue #501.
Support for the
pct:x size form is no longer required at
level1 compliance. This is consistent with the
pct:x,y,w,h for region as both are now
See issue #478.
JSON-LD remains the serialization format of the Image API, as it is for the Presentation API. Some features of the JSON-LD Community Group specification make significant improvements to the Presentation API’s structure and consistency and are also adopted by the Image API although the impact is much less. While this specification is not a W3C Technical Recommendation at the time of release, the likelihood of the standardization process for JSON-LD 1.1 being successful is extremely high and the advantages have been judged to be worth the risk of unintended incompatibility.
See issue #1192.
The following changes are backwards compatible with version 2.1.1 of the Image API.
A new Extensions section describes mechanisms for extension of image requests and the new Extra Functionality section describes how extensions are described in the image information response. The
extraFormats properties have been added to allow description of additional functionality.
There is now a registry of known extensions to the IIIF specifications, which includes a [registry of Image API extensions][registry-image-extensions]. Extensions intended for community use should be registered in the extensions registry, but registration is not mandatory.
Two linking properties also present in the Presentation API were added to the image information. The
seeAlso property addresses the use case of providing a link to technical metadata, and the
partOf property supports discovery of a containing Manifest.
A specific media-type, to be used with the HTTP headers
Content-Type was defined. This media type is the JSON-LD media type, with the context in the
profile parameter, following established conventions.
See issue #1066.
The following changes do not change the Image API behavior from version 2.1.1.
3.1. Clarify distinctions between underlying image content, full image, extracted region, and image returned
The Terminology section now explicitly defines underlying image content and full image. These terms, along with “extracted region” and “image returned” are used to describe the image manipulations more consistently than in previous versions.
See issue #1425.
Description of the
!w,h form for the size parameter has been clarified to point out that the returned image must be as large as possible to fit within the
w,h box subject to constraints of extracted region size and server-imposed limits.
See issue #1372.
Description of the
color value of the format parameter has been clarified to make it clear that it is a request for the image with all of its color information. If the underlying image content has no color information then the resulting image will not have any either, even with the
color format value.
All examples now use
https URIs in order to reflect best practices for interoperable implementations.
See issue #1421.
Discussion of floating point representation has been moved from the image requests introduction to its own section, Floating Point Values, and has been expanded for clarity. The advice on using at most 10 decimal digits has been removed. Description of
pct values clarifies these may be either floating point or integer.
Discussion of CORS has be moved to a new CORS section and the wording clarified to make it clear that not only the
Access-Control-Allow-Origin header but also the preflight request pattern (ie. including the
OPTIONS header) should be supported.
See issue #1274.
The previous version mentioned only the Image API JSON-LD context. The description has been changed to make it clear that the value of
@context may be either a single URI, or an array with extension context URIs followed by the Image API context URI.
See issue #1472.
3.8. Clarify that a compliance
Link header may be returned with both Image and Image Information responses
The description of compliance has been changed to note that the compliance level may be given in a HTTP
Link header on both Image and Image Information responses.
See issue #1365.
A new Image API 3.0 Implementation Notes document was created by extracting notes from the appendices of the previous version. An algorithm for handling implementation constraints on maximum sizes with
maxArea was added. Care has been taken to avoid RFC 2119 keywords as the implementation notes are not normative.
Explicit mention of support for
level0 implementation with pre-generated files was added. The Image API Compliance document has additional guidance on interpretation of
sizes information at
A new HTTP Versions section was added to describe issues with many concurrent requests and recommends support for HTTP/2.
See issue #957.
The use of
code font and capitalization was made consistent for class names, property names and values when used in prose.