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In this article by Niklas Jägerklou, Project Manager at Meridium, and Johan Carlberger, CEO Euroling, solutions for searching image banks are discussed. Never before have web sites been filled with so many pictures. Previously, web site pictures were used for decorative purposes in relation to text. But now pictures sometimes have become synonymous with the content.
A few examples are photo web sites like Flickr, and video sites like YouTube. On these sites the pictures themselves are the purpose of the site, and they're uploaded by the users themselves. Suddenly a picture is worth a thousand words – even on the Internet.
For EPiServer CMS customers this development has often meant that editors – who can work in a decentralized fashion, or with other primary tasks – also have become responsible for the quality of the image content.
At home people use photo album software to keep record of holiday pictures. If you don't create a similar solution in the organization, chaos is imminent. You need capabilities for handling and taking maximum advantage of the pictures, regarding rights, duplicates, different formats on different sites, reusability, metadata, storage, etc. A solution for users of EPiServer CMS is a combination of the media bank and the picture processing module ImageVault from Meridium, together with the search engine SiteSeeker from Euroling.
The answer is metadata, with information about when the picture was taken, size, caption and photographer, or picture categories set by the editors. The digital camera often records important information about time and place, etc. This metadata can be stored together with the picture in ImageVault.
So there's often plenty of information which can be used to create order in the picture bank material, for both visitors and editors. You can index all of the metadata and make it searchable in SiteSeeker's module for EPiServer CMS. This results in a picture search with improved picture management for editors, and enticing functions to make users stay a bit longer at different web pages.
A tip: You should avoid presenting a complicated search form to the visitors and editors. It is much better to use SiteSeeker's function for categorized search result presentation.
An example: Let's assume you're searching for a picture you remember from last year. It's a picture of a dog and you want it in print quality. Instead of filling in all the search criteria in a form, you simply write ”dog” in the search field. The search result is immediately shown, divided into date and picture size, and it's easy to navigate to the correct picture.
This procedure is used at many of the big picture search services, like Flickr. The world's biggest picture web site have simply got rid of traditional navigation and replaced it with a search function were the users navigate from the search results, by limiting and sorting the search into categories.
If you want to use all the pictures in your EPiServer CMS system to their full extent, you should use ImageVault together with SiteSeeker. With this solution it is easy to edit, reuse and organize pictures, to make them accessible in all parts of the organisation. You can use SiteSeeker to build a modern picture search for your visitors, using all the existing metadata, without presenting a complicated search form.