Abusing Amazon images

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Nat Gertler has a fascinating piece on Abusing Amazon images — by reverse-engineering Amazon’s image-generator:

Amazon.com feeds out a lot of product images, putting out the same book cover (say) in a variety of sizes and formats. By experimentation, I found that they don’t actually have all the sizes and formats stored. Instead, they have a system that generates each requested image. The details of size and format are built into the image’s URL. What that means that, if you want, you can create URLs that generate odd and unlikely Amazon images (you can see my gallery of images here). The proper combination of product choice and added elements and effects could create an interesting visual. What you see here is my best understanding of things based on trial and error and messing with various example URLs I’ve found.

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