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Uploading and Storing images on the Web :: Free Image Hosting Services

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Storing/Hosting Images on the Web  
 
Every image that you find within a web page is a file. You can make the browser display only the image file if you know the url (web address) of the image.

An image that you intend to include within the blog post should be stored on the web (i.e. on any computer connected to the internet).

• Image Hosting Services

There are an umpteen number of web sites providing free (web) image hosting services, some of which are

» photos.blogger.com

This is an Image hosting service provided by blogger. You can upload photos to this site only from within blogger (by logging in to blogger). There is no direct access to this site. Even if you try accessing this site, you would be redirected to blogger.com pages.

» flickr.com

Another popular free web Image hosting service provided by a company taken over and now owned by yahoo.

» photobucket.com

Another popular free web Image hosting service.
The images once hosted on these site can be included in any page on the web.

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On blogger.com  
 

• You can store by uploading from your computer only

You can store images on photos.blogger.com only by uploading it from your computer. Moreover you can upload the images only from the web pages used for creating or editing posts.

• Uploading Process

  • Bring up the web page used for creating or editing a blog post,
  • Click the "Add image" tool button.

    This tool button is available both in the HTML as well as Compose modes (on the tool bar relating to the text area where you include the post content).

A web page with options that enable you to upload images is displayed in a new window.

To upload the images stored on your computer,

  • Click the "Browse" button to bring up the "File upload" dialog box
  • In that dialog box, choose the image that you intend to upload and click open
    [You will notice the file name with its complete path of location on your computer getting inserted into the text box on the web page.]
  • Choose the image formatting options (size, alignment) and click "Upload image" button/link.

  • On the completion of the upload process, a thumbnail of the image you have uploaded along with a success message would be displayed.

    If the file you are uploading is a large one, the blogger program would display a upload progress page.

  • Click "Done" button/link.

    The HTML code for the image and the relevant formatting options would get inserted into the text area where you include the post content the top.

The uploaded images would be directly inserted into the blog post at the top of the text area. In the Compose mode, you would be able to view the image and in the HTML mode you would be able to view the HTML code.

You may remove the HTML code inserted if your intention is to upload the image now and use it later on within a post or anywhere on the web. However, you need to be careful enough to note down the url of the uploaded image, since you cannot access the photos.blogger.com web site directly and view or manage the images you uploaded.

• File Types that can be uploaded

You can upload images in JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF or BMP formats.

• Image Sizes and Limits

The options on the upload window allow you to choose between small, medium and large sizes for you image. This would determine the size to which the image would be scaled within the content on your post. Whatever may be the option that you choose, your image would be uploaded in its full size.

Each image can be upto 8 MB in size.

Each blog has a 300MB space for storing images relevant to it. This limit is not for a user account. Remember you can create as many blogs as you want within a user account. You can use the images uploaded from within a blog in any other blog.

• Where are the images stored

The images at the time of writing this tutorial are being stored on the domain "bp1.blogger.com" A separate folder is created for each blog and within that images are stored with names automatically created by blogger using the name of the image file you have uploaded.

  • http://bp1.blogger.com/_Fa4Wp8HcBwo/RXXJa8-bDmI/AAAAAAAAAAk/i6w5EllNBJg/s1600-h/anttutorial.gif
".../_Fa4Wp8HcBwo/RXXJa8-bDmI/AAAAAAAAAAk/i6w5EllNBJg/s1600-h/" represents the folder within which the images relating to a particular blog are stored.

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On flickr.com  
 

• You can store by uploading from your computer only

flickr.com is a free web image hosting service providing company recently taken over by yahoo. You can store images on flickr.com only by uploading it from your computer.

• Login : User Account - Yahoo Account

You can log in to the flickr.com website using your yahoo user information (user name and password). If you don't have a yahoo id, create one to use the services of flickr.com

• Upload Process

On flickr.com. the menu that appears at the top of all pages contains links to all the web pages within flickr. After logging in, on the menu that is displayed on clicking the "you" link click the "upload photos" link.

A web page with the file upload form is displayed. You can upload upto 6 images at the same time. choose the images you want to upload from your computer, choose whether you intend to make these photos public or keep them private.

You may enter words that would describe you images/photos. These words (called tags here) are Keywords that would enable users searching for photos find your photos.

Click "upload" to start the upload process.

An upload progress page is displayed during the process of uploading. The uploading process will take a few minutes if you have chosen to upload multiple/large image files.

Once the uploading is complete a web page displaying all the photos/images that you have uploaded is displayed.

This page has options for entering a title, description and keywords for each photo separately. Write the same and click "save" to save the uploaded photos with the title, description and tags entered in your account.

On photobucket.com  
 

• You can Upload from Your Computer as well as Copy a Web Image directly

Photobucket.com is another widely popular free web image hosting service provider. Even here you need an user account and if you don't have one, register to obtain a free account.

• Distinct Features

The distinct features on this web site are
  • You can upload and store both images/photos as well as videos using the same user account
  • You can store any image on the internet, by copying it directly into your account. You don't need to download the image onto your computer and then upload it to your account (as in the case of flickr.com or blogger.com)

• Upload Process

After you have logged in to your account, click the "my photos" link on the menu at the top of the page. A page with options to upload images/videos will be displayed. The images and videos within your account are listed on this page itself. You can find them if you scroll down.

You can upload upto 10 images at the same time. You can choose to upload either images from you computer or from the web page at a time. You can't upload some from your computer and some from the web at the same time.

To upload the images from your computer, select the image by browsing your computer. The image file name along with its complete path is entered in the relevant text box. A text box with just the file name in display above it, for entering a description for the image would be displayed immediately.

If you want to copy an image already existing on the web into your account, click the "web url" link and on the upload form that is displayed enter/fill the url of the image in the relevant text box. Immediately on entering the url a text box to enable you to enter a description for the image is displayed.

After choosing all the files to be uploaded/copied and filling in the relevant descriptions (you may ignore descriptions), if you click the "upload" button, all the images would be stored in your account. If the upload process takes time, the "upload" button is displayed as "uploading..." during that time.

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Finding URL of an Image on a Web Page  
 
Every image on your computer is a file. Every image on a page that is accessed through the internet (i.e. on the web) is also a file. Every file that is accessible through the internet has a distinct URI/URL associated with it. Therefore, each image on any page you see has its own unique URI/URL.

You may obtain the url of an image displayed on a web page

  • Using the options on the short cut menu relating to the image displayed when you point at the image and right click with the mouse
    (Or)
  • From the properties dialog box relating to the image. This dialog box can be displayed by choosing "Properties" from the short cut menu.

Where an image is working as a hot image (i.e. as a link to any other resource on the internet), it has two url's associated with it. One the image URL you are looking for and the other the URL of the resource it is pointing to. The image URL ends with an image file.

Where an image link points to another image, both the URLs would end with image file names. In such cases, the image url is the value of the src (read source) attribute within the < img > tag. You have to be conscious of this when copying url's of images working as links.

• Why do I need the URL

The URL of an image on a web page would enable you to display that image on your blog post. You just need to use the URL as the value of the src = "__" attribute within an image tag to display it. This can be done only with the permission (consent) of the web site (or image) owner. You may not need such permission if it is permitted to be used freely like many of the images you find on the free image hosting sites.

You may also make a copy of the image and store it within your account on a web site that allows direct copy of images (like photobucket.com).

• Save to your computer and upload

If the free web image hosting service has no provision to directly copy an image from the internet to your account (like in photobucket.com), you may save the image to your computer first and then upload the saved image from your computer to your account.

Can we copy and use any and every image from the web

Images on the web are also "Copyright" protected. They are not to be used without the explicit permission of the copyright holders (generally owners of the web site hosting it or the person uploading it).

Therefore, if you are including an image on any web site, in your blog (web page) Or if you are copying the image to your computer or to your free web image hosting account without permission, you are violating copyright laws.

With the flood of images on the web, identifying the real owner and obtaining permission becomes tougher and tougher . In spite of it, if you are using any image about which you do not have details, you are taking the risk of violating copyright law.

Hotlinking  
 
The web page (HTML file) in which the image is being displayed and the image file are two different files with their own unique urls. Where they are hosted on two different servers we say the image is hotlinked in/to the web page.

You are uploading your images to either photos.blogger.com or any other free image hosting web sites and using them within your post which is included in a blog (web page) hosted on blogspot.com. This amounts to hotlinking to those images from your blog post.

"Hot linking" to images on other web sites should be with permission. If you are using the services of photos.blogger.com or any other free web image hosting site, it is legal because they explicitly allow it. However, they may (do) have a condition attached (i.e. the image should link back to the image file on their web site).

If you are following the conditions, then you are hot linking illegally.

Hotlinking » Bandwidth Theft

Whenever an image on a web page is displayed in the browser, it is fetched from the web server (web site) hosting the image. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred from a web site to a user's computer. The bandwidth consumed would be on account of the data relating to the web page (HTML file) and the data relating to the image.

Where the web page and the image are hosted/stored on the same website (web server) the total bandwidth consumed is that of the web site itself.

Where you have hot linked to an image, the data relating to the web page (HTML file) is transferred from the web site hosting the web page and the data relating to the image is transferred from some other site (the site hosting the image) each consuming a certain amount of bandwidth.

Every time the web page is displayed, the bandwidth relating to the website that is hosting the image would be used up without their consent. Therefore, if you are hotlinking to an image without proper consent, it would amount to "Bandwidth theft".

Web hosting companies allow a certain amount of free bandwidth every month for web sites they host. If the allotted bandwidth is consumed before the end of the month, the Web site owners have to purchase extra bandwidth. Thus, the web site owners have to bear the cost of unauthorised hotlinkiing. For those who are Hot linking without consent, it amounts to using other web site's bandwidth without paying for it.

How do you feel, if you are to pay the electricity bill when some one else without your knowledge uses electricity by plugging into your electrical sockets? Bandwidth theft also leaves such a feeling ..... (on whom!!)

 

Author Credit : The Edifier ... Continued Page 19

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