Image Database

software development


Hey Guys!
I’m just curious how one would make a searchable Image Database? I was looking around online, and the only thing that came close to what I was looking for was a demo from a place called Asset Bank. This is what I am generally looking to do (view here - )

Would anyone know how to go about building something like this? Would they be willing to give me some hints to the general direction of stuff I need to learn/know?

Warmest, (and thanks guys)
Laura Mabee :slight_smile:


This is something that those computer scientists have been trying to achieve since 80s. Till now, including google, no one has done it.

According to “that is the best we have” rules, the so called “image database” stores the descriptions of images only. For example, if there is a photo taken in a beach, descriptions of key words like “beach”, “sky”, “ocean”, “holidy”, etc will be stored in database associated with the particular photo. Search is usually done on the key words.

The scientists have already achieved something. They are able to identify shapes in a picture like circles, rectangles. But it is not enough. From a shape, we can’t tell it is person’s face or an apple. Scientists are still working on it. I believe we are able to do that some day.

If you happen to solve the problem, do not forget to post a reply here. I’ll sure invest on your company.

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Dear Partick,
Thanks for your reply, but I’m not so sure I follow.

Yes, this is exactly what I am looking to do. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear in my first post.

I just don’t know what coding it’s in, or how to begin making one. So, generally, I was just looking for a heads up on what coding or program to use when creating a image database with keywords (which could then by typed into a search bar when looking to bring them back up).

Do you (or anyone) have any idea on how to begin this process of creating one?


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After learning a programming language and how to design a database and use a database management system, you then need to learn how to program for the Web which includes CGI, HTML, CSS and other technologies.

Or you can just download a program someone else already wrote.

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Care to elaborate?


Sorry editing my question after you replied. To be honest I’m fustrated by your query because you don’t appear to know much about computer programming. Please see my updated answer. I program in Perl and PHP is not that different. Besides learning a programming language and database programming and design, you also need to learn how to manage a software project. This is not a simple task.

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Maybe I can elaborate a bit on what Atropos7 is pointing out. While I would never say that you could not do such a thing, programming a “clone” of the software you used as an example is a huge undertaking for a professional software developer (or even a team of them).

Although it is true that you cannot truly judge the “value” (or quality) of a program by its “licensing price” (, for example, is high quality and is free!), there is often a relationship between the price of a license and development costs. The program you are inquiring about emulating currently lists a “standard” licensing fee as approximately $10,000 USD - which may well be some indication, at least to a degree and in some manner, of the substantial cost of producing it (as well as the potential market).

That said, it might be true that such an undertaking is more than you are likely to be able to accomplish reasonably even if you master the educational challenges of such a project.

This does not necessarily mean that you are resigned to purchasing such expensive software to achieve your goal; before you spend that kind of money, either in development costs or licensing fees, I suggest you evaluate already existing “free” alternatives that that might be suitable for, or be adapted to, your needs.

For example, with the DreamHost provided Galley “one-click” install, you can “tag” individual images with searchable keywords, and descriptions, and organize them into albums of related images.

On the face of it, this is “close” to what you described as wanting do do in your original post, and costs nothing to try (there is no fee, and DreamHost installs it for you via the “one-click” system).

Installing this, and investing some time exploring it’s full capabilities, might prove that it is sufficient for what you are trying to accomplish and, if not, give you a much better understanding of what is involved with such a program and what features you really do (and do not) need.



Hey RLParker,
Thank you so much for your reply. Whenever I come on there forums you’re always so helpful and kind. I realize I am new to Programming, so I really appreciate your explanations on the issue rather then just being rude.



Thank you for your reply. You’re right, I’m very new to programming, and no, I wasn’t aware of the problems behind programming a Image Search engine. Thankfully, rlparker was kind enough to fill me in.

I understand that you could be frustrated by my noob question on programming, but being rude doesn’t help the situation any. The reason I posted in this part of the forum was because I knew those who viewed it did indeed understand what they were doing, and I was hoping they could be kind enough to give me a heads up on my question.

Not everybody can have all the knowledge in the world, we all start new somewhere.


You very welcome, and thanks for the gracious words about my posts here on the forums. :slight_smile:

There is one thought I’d like to share about the nature of technical forums, and technical people in general, that you may (or may not) find useful: It is very easy to confuse “straight talk” and conciseness with rudeness.

I don’t think anyone has been “rude”" in this thread at all, and I think it would be a mistake (albeit an “honest mistake”) to characterize any of the responses you have received that way.

For some insight into this, and for a generally interesting read, you might want to take a look at Eric S. Raymond’s now famous piece, “How To Ask Questions The Smart Way”, which contains this great paragraph:



From what I understand, you want to add images to a database and tag them with keywords. So, you’re just asking for a basic search form, in my opinion. All you would need to do is have a form with a query that pulls the images that match the keywords that the user searched for. You may want to try something like hotscripts if you’re new to programming and won’t know how to maintain the script. Good luck.
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