Improving Web performance via image optimization

Web performance refers to the speed at which web pages are downloaded and displayed on the user’s web browser.

Faster website download speeds have been shown to increase visitor retention and loyalty and user satisfaction, especially for users with slow internet connections and those on mobile devices. Some aspects which can affect the speed of page load include browser/server cache, image optimization, and encryption (for example SSL), which can affect the time it takes for pages to render.

Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a web page and also often occupy a significant amount of visual space. As a result, optimizing images can often yield some of the largest byte savings and performance improvements for your website: the fewer bytes the browser has to download, the less competition there is for the client’s bandwidth and the faster the browser can download and render useful content on the screen.

image-optimization

Image Optimization

Image optimization is an art that you want to master. Optimizing web images is a process of delivering the high-quality images in the right format, dimension, size, and resolution while keeping the smallest possible size without sacrificing quality so that your page load times remain low. It’s also about image SEO. That is, getting your product images and decorative images to rank on Google and other image search engines.

The importance of images in connecting users to your products has been proven. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, users are more likely to abandon it which will drastically increase your bounce rate and eventually, it will affect your conversions.

How to optimize images?

Image optimization can be done in different ways be it by resizing the images, caching or by compressing the size. One of the simplest and most effective image optimization techniques is to ensure that we are not shipping any more pixels than needed to display the asset at its intended size in the browser.

There are numerous online tools you can use for image editing. Adobe even has a free image editing application for smartphones and tablets, Photoshop Express. This tool doesn’t have all of the capabilities of the desktop version of Adobe Photoshop, but it covers all the basics of image editing and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Online image editing tools:

  • PicMonkey has been described by experts as a “staggeringly great photo editing tool”.
  • PIXLR is super user-friendly and comes with a 100% free app for your smartphone so you can edit on the go.
  • Canva is another fairly advanced online image editor.

Powerful image processing on the fly:

If you want responsive images on the fly Imgix is a great tool to try. Imgix transforms, optimizes, and intelligently caches your entire image library for fast websites and apps using simple and robust URL parameters. Resizing, cropping, and automatic content negotiation and enhancement are just the beginning of what you can do. Using Imgix, you can overlay text, stylize images, apply masks, add borders and padding, and much more.

In this digital world, every factor related to your website performance matters. And the expectation of visitors is only going to increases with time. One can not ignore the amazing benefits of optimizing images. These benefits are not restricted to the page load speed and SEO ranking only. Image optimization is capable of turning up your conversion and revenue numbers.

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ISRO Launches Bhuvan. Competition to Google Earth?

ISRO , Indian space & research organization has launched Bhuvan, a satellite mapping tool similar to Google Earth and Wikimapia on 12th August 2009. Bhuvan gives you an easy way to experience, explore and visualize IRS images over Indian region.

Bhuvan is a geoportal that providisrobhuvan_thumbes medium to high resolution satellite imagery of  virtually the entire India over the internet. You can “fly” around using mouse and keyboard on a simple desktop computer with virtual globe in front draped with IRS images over Indian region. Many other features are built in, including 3D terrain and information on many thematic data.

Bhuvan is a free web based image portal. Most Image visualization programs are very expensive and complex. Bhuvan provides a fast and friendly way to look at IRS satellite data and thematic information in geographic context, which is invaluable for management, planning and visualization.

“With Bhuvan we will be able to produce very local information which will be specific to only to our own country. This information available from this mapping system will be useful in addressing very local problems like floods, famines, infrastructure development, education and much more,” said ISRO chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair.

Multi-resolution imagMulti Resolution Terraines from multi-sensor IRS satellites of India is seamlessly depicted through the Bhuvan web portal by enabling a common man to zoom into specific area of interest at high resolution. Bhuvan brings a whole lot  of uniqueness in understanding our own natural resources whilst presenting beautiful images and thematic vectors generated from varieties of geospatial information. Bhuvan will also attempt to bring out the importance of multi-temporal data and to highlight the changes taking place to our natural resources, which will serve as a general awareness on our changing planet.  There are lot more special value added services which will be enabled onto the web portal in due course of time and each one of those services are going to be unique to preserving and conserving our precious natural resources through public participation.  We are sure the common man will get rich benefits from these Indian geospatial data services in days to come.

Bhuvan can take closer pictures of the Indian Subcontinent as compared to the Google Earth. Bhuvan is capable of taking a zoom level of up to 10 meters, while Google Earth features a zoom level of up to 200 meters.

Unlike Google Earth, however the Bhuvan application will not be downloadable and will not allow users to host content in the near future. It is not yet ready for Mac OS and Linux. But, at the moment Bhuvan can run only on windows system and is optimised for IE 6. or higher with 1280×1024 resolution.

One will be able to see the following data using Bhuvan:

  • Satellite imagery (LISS III , LISS IV along with metadata and  Multi- temporal Data from OCM & AWiFS)
  • Value added information (NADAMS – National Agricultural Drought Monitoring System), Output of flood studies for certain areas
  • Thematic information  (Wastelands, Soils, watershed,water resources related maps)
  • Base layers ( administrative boundaries, transport layers, water bodies, etc)
  • Census information
  • Metadata

Advanced functionalities to be provided in future versions

  • Urban Design Tools (to build roads, junctions and traffic lights in an urban setting)
  • Contour map ( Displays a colorized terrain map and contour lines)
  • Terrain profile ( Displays the terrain elevation profile along a path)
  • Draw tools (Creates simples markers, free hand lines, urban designs)
  • Navigation map (to jump to and view locations in the 3D India)

It is mandatory to register to use Bhuvan. The basic version of Bhuvan is free. Once you register and you login, you will be asked to download the Bhuvan plug-in. Accept the installation of the plug-in and you are ready to use the full features of Bhuvan.