In a matter of weeks, we created a powerful CMS to search, organise and download photos, unlocking hundreds of thousands of images for use by Expedia’s marketing team.

The Challenge

The TM team produce and publish hundreds of thousands of photos, which are updated and added to on an ongoing basis. While these photos are published from a database using an API, there was no scalable way Expedia’s marketing team could access, browse and download copies of these photos for other uses. A cloud-based solution would have been straight forward, however valuable metadata associated with each photo would have been lost.

Our Approach

Expedia’s requirements for this CMS fell largely into two areas:

  1. how to best search for a photo; and
  2. how to manage the user system and reporting, while allowing TM to track individual image use.

The system also required the ability to be updated dynamically, so as new photos are published and tags are added, the CMS would be automatically updated to reflect the changes.

The ability to search for a photo relied heavily on the associated metadata that was mapped to each image. This required building relationships between multiple data sets, such as:

  •  image rating;
  •  date of creation;
  •  geographical hierarchy; and
  •  individual image category tags created by our tagging team.

The granular image tags are mapped into larger meta tag sets of ‘experiences’ to allow for broader search terms such as ‘beaches’.

The user system for ImageBox is an adaptation of our core CMS, ‘Gearbox’. We added new functionality including approval cycles, light boxes, campaign and image tracking to ensure the integrity of users and image usage. Anytime the system detected a new user being added to the CMS they were automatically emailed a PDF explaining how to operate the app and download images. The goal was to make it so simple to use that it could be largely ‘set and forget’.

The Results

ImageBox has been tremendously successful. We now have over 250,000 retouched images that can be searched using combinations of places and/or image tags and experience tags. The newest photos are always sequenced to appear first in any filtered search and are rated to ensure that users always see the best and most up-to-date photos first.

We currently have over 300 satisfied users globally on ImageBox, which is proof that we can build a simple CMS that is user friendly, meets customer needs, and runs itself with very little required maintenance or software support.

For a demonstration of ImageBox, just get in touch.