Streamlining Photo Publishing For A News Agency | First Line Software

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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

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Client References

I want to express my gratitude for all of your team’s hard work, support and extra help. We are very grateful for all that you have done for us.

Senior Project Manager, a U.S. specialty digital design and web development agency

Your quality of work is exceptional, and your flexible approach has allowed us to build and deploy a large amount of complex functionality in a very short space of time. Kudos to everyone for their professionalism and for delivering results that exceeded our expectations.

CEO, leading social media analytics provider

We have never had a better release that we can think of. And that is all because of your hard and dedicated work. So here is a big THANK YOU to everyone from all of us!

Editor, leading Scandinavian newspaper

For a software vendor like ourselves, picking the right development partner is crucial. First Line’s technical expertise and solid project management, coupled with their proficiency in Agile methodologies, have made them an integral part of our product development group.

VP Product Development, leading enterprise software vendor

Our First Line Team has been doing a great job. All of the guys check in great code, and they have a forward thinking mindset, not a feature-to-feature approach. They are also very open in terms of sharing knowledge, which is critical to running productive distributed teams.

Application Development Director, global marketing company

We've all learned a lot from you, and it is great working with you.

Application Development Director, global marketing company

The First Line team has an excellent process and we can learn from your team and improve.

Product Owner, Strategic Software Consultancy

I would like to thank the First Line development team for their dedication and high level of quality in their work. Despite being thousands of miles apart, we have been able to work quickly, effectively, and intelligently. Your team has been a major part of why we have been successful thus far.

VP Engineering, e-learning startup

First Line is a great technology partner capable of delivering complex, ‘industrial grade’ projects. They have demonstrated strong technical competence and solid understanding of the media and publishing domain. We have also been very impressed by the management team's attention to our needs and commitment to our success.

CEO, leading European digital media company

Your effort is the #1 reason that this project is going so well. I've worked with a lot of teams over the years and there are very few teams that I trust and respect. When you are given a task or feature, I never have to worry whether or not it will be accomplished on time and I never worry about the quality - you always deliver.

Architect, Strategic Software Consultancy

The team we put together in the last half of this year is one of the most productive, skilled and enjoyable I’ve ever worked on. It’s great to see the product brought to life, and I’m proud to work with all you folks.

Senior Architect, Fortune 100 company

The First Line Software team is professional, results driven, and proactive. I know that when we provide requirements for new functionality, they will not only deliver on the scope of what has been asked but will look beyond and give insight into how we can make our product even better. It has been a privilege to work with First Line Software, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in future.

VP, global marketing company
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