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Streamlining Photo Publishing For A News Agency

When photographers work at sporting events, the workflow to get a shot from the photojournalist’s camera to the new agency’s website can be quite involved. Typically, the picture first gets transmitted from a Wi-Fi enabled digital camera to a local computer...

Client

Our client was one of the largest national news agencies.

Background

When photographers work at sporting events, the workflow to get a shot from the photojournalist’s camera to the new agency’s website can be quite involved. Typically, the picture first gets transmitted from a Wi-Fi enabled digital camera to a local computer, for example, the photographer’s own laptop. From there, it is uploaded to the agency’s server, where the photo editor further processes it as needed and uploads to the website or makes it otherwise available for consumption.

Challenge

The agency’s existing photo solution had a couple of serious drawbacks. First of all, the system only supported a single photojournalist per event. Additionally, it was too slow: the process form the click of the shutter to the image being available on the site took 8 minutes. First Line was contracted to develop the new product called Blitz, to replace the existing system.

Solution

First Line’s engineers designed and implemented a brand new photo management system specifically geared towards large-scale events. The system supports multiple users (photojournalists), whose cameras send images in real time, as they are being taken, to a local server. Once the images are on the local computer, the system generates lightweight previews that are immediately available to the photo editor. The editor can then select the images for publication, manipulate them (crop, rotate, etc.), after which the original, high-resolution images are transferred and can be published with a single click. Additionally, since the new system supports multiple photographers, the editor can quickly search and select the incoming images by metadata, such as the photographer’s name or location.

Results

The new system was tested at multiple sporting events throughout the country in preparation for the ultimate test. The time required to publish a photo has been reduced from 8 minutes to 90 seconds, allowing for seamless timely publication of many thousands of gorgeous photos as our client worked to provide round-the-clock multimedia coverage.

Blitz was also used to support the Second Screen app, one of the agency’s most advanced products created together with Channel One. Second Screen allowed TV viewers to receive extra statistics, replays, still shots and other pertinent information on their smartphone or tablet in addition to the main coverage of Olympic events as they were watching them on their TVs. Blitz was used to feed still shots to Second Screen in real time.

Team size: 5
Total effort: 24 person-months

About Us

First Line Software is a premier provider of custom software development, technology enablement services and value-add consulting in big data engineering, digitalization, intellectual integration, industrial Internet, and IoT, digital media and marketing, and enterprise content management as well as healthcare IT.

Headquartered in the US, First Line employs 500+ staff globally. First Line team and company culture is centered around subject matter expertise, technical excellence, consulting capabilities and proven methodologies, with a strong focus on Agile and Intellectual Integration.

The company has been recognized with multiple annual rankings and awards by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), Global Services, CorporateLiveWire, Insights Success and CNews. We were the first to be awarded the Scrum Capability Medallion by Scrum, Inc. Most recently, research firm Gartner included FirstLine in their first ever Market Guide for Technology Integrators (2014) and the Cool Vendor in Applications Services 2015 Report. We are active members in Object Management Group and Industrial Internet Consortium. FLS is also an EPiServer Premium Solutions Partner.