Update - December 2015: The add-on described in this post is no longer available since ReKognition terminated their services. However, all features described here are still available via a different and even better add-on by Imagga. See Automatic image categorization and tagging with Imagga and the Imagga Auto Tagging Add-on documentation.
Many websites and mobile applications support user uploaded images and other files. This requires a service to receive and process the uploads, store them safely, manipulate them to match the website or app’s design, and deliver them to your users. This also requires a user interface within your site or app that allows users to easily upload images.
Many websites and mobile applications with user generated content allow you to upload all kinds of files. Images, PDFs, and Microsoft Office files, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all common types of uploads.
Sites and apps are including more and more high-quality images. The more you can compress images to reduce their size in bytes, the smaller your bandwidth, the faster your site will load and the happier your users will be. But when compressing images, you need to make sure you maintain high visual quality.
Short videos of animated GIFs are spreading like wildfire around the web, especially in media and news sites, and people frequently share animated GIFs on social apps. However, because those GIFs are not optimized, their sizes are huge, consuming heavy bandwidth and slowing down page loads. Also, resizing and transforming a large number of animated GIFs, one by one, to match the graphic design of your site or app is a lengthy, CPU-intensive process.
Web development was much simpler only a few years ago, when we were building HTML pages that included images and photos, and all elements shared the same resolution units. If for example, you aimed at a standard 1024x768 screen, you knew these were exactly the number of pixels available for displaying HTML elements and images.
If your web or mobile application involves user-generated content, you may encounter users who upload inappropriate photos or images to your application. These could be images which offend other users - adult content, violent photos, etc. - or images which cause your site to violate laws or regulations.
How do you crop an image to a custom shape? How do you add a shadow effect to an image with transparency? How do you add text overlay to an image without using HTML?
If you build or maintain a website with a lot of images, you've probably had many questions like these. Most developers who work with images have scripts or tools that can achieve dozens if not hundreds of image manipulations - from basics like crop and resize, to advanced stuff like shadow and transparency, watermarks, face detection, etc. But how do you mix and match these manipulations correctly to solve a problem or achieve a certain effect?
Fashion isn't something you'd expect to repeat itself in the technology world - technology advances quickly and hardly ever circles back. But where animated GIFs are involved, it seems like the 90s are here again. Animated GIFs are everywhere, and not only on strange, cheesy web sites - they've become mainstream. You now see short videos shared and played as animated GIFs in reputed sites such as Gawker and TechCrunch.