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Image Guidelines for the Internet Reservation Module

Added: 7/17/2002
Article ID#: KI0027

The IRM takes advantage of graphics on several pages, including:

  • The IRM Home Page where property images are often displayed
  • The “Available Rooms” listing page where thumbnail images of rooms or room types are displayed
  • The “Room Detail” page where images of specific rooms or room types are displayed

In order to successfully integrate images into the IRM, there are certain steps that should be followed. These steps help IRM pages display in an acceptable time frame, regardless of the Internet guest’s connection speed. These steps include:

  • Creating Original Images
  • Selecting Graphics Software
  • Re-Sizing Images

Creating Original Images

There are two methods for creating original images, using a digital camera or scanning a standard picture. Both methods produce desirable results.  This section focuses on taking digital pictures. A middle-of-the-road digital camera costs approximately $600. Digital cameras are useful tools because the image can be viewed immediately and can also be easily formatted using graphics software. 

Selecting Graphics Software

RDP uses Paint Shop Pro, a graphics software package from JASC software. Paint Shop Pro can be used to:

  • Retouch, repair, and edit photos with easy-to-use, high-quality, automatic photo enhancement features
  • Create and optimize Web graphics with built-in Web tools and artistic drawing and text tools

Paint Shop Pro is available on the JASC website for $99. For properties not interested in purchasing a graphics package, Microsoft Image Composer is included free with Microsoft Front Page. Microsoft Image Composer is a standard graphics package that allows customers to resize and format images, however it does not contain the functionality of Paint Shop Pro.

Normally, pictures taken on a digital camera are stored in the camera’s RAM memory or on a disk. Downloading the images to a graphics package is normally an easy process documented by the camera manufacturer. For this example, we will assume the image is stored on a removable disk. After inserting the disk into a PC, use graphics software to open the image.

Re-Sizing Images

After taking a digital picture, the image’s size can be viewed in Paint Shop Pro using the View | Image Information command (most graphics programs have similar options). This useful command provides the following information:

  • Dimensions
  • Pixels Per Inch
  • Pixel Depth and Colors
  • Image Size

A sample is displayed below.

The image’s dimensions are measured in both pixels and inches. A popular size for IRM thumbnail images is 140 x 100 pixels, which translates into 1.45 x 1.04 inches. 

Room Picture

Images created for the web usually have a resolution of  96 pixels per inch. Images created with a color depth of 24-bits (16 million colors) look the best because they contain the most colors. However, please note that not all media can display 16 million colors. For example, .GIF images, a popular format for the Web, can only contain up to 256 colors (8-bit depth).

The image’s size is perhaps the most important of the images attributes. The image size determines how fast it will display over the Internet. Assume website visitors are connecting via a 28.8 dial-up connection and size images accordingly. Use the following guidelines when sizing images.

  • Property images displayed on the IRM home page should not exceed 75KB.
  • Room type and room number thumbnail pages should not exceed 30KB.
  • Room type and room number images displayed on detail pages should not exceed 75KB.
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