66% or better

Abusing Amazon’s Dynamic Image Generator

amazon image

I’ve wondered about the crazy image URLs Amazon uses before, but not more than a few seconds. It seems a Peanuts fan decided to get to the bottom of it. Nat Gertler has deciphered the meanings  of most of the values that show up in Amazon URLs. It’s really simple to try out. Just pick out an image URL and start dropping in options: You can change the value and color of the percentage off bullet. Rotate the image to an arbitrary angle. Add “search inside” and “look inside” banners wherever you want. You can even view the original cover the book was submitted with.  Many of these options can be doubled up too. I can’t really think of what the “killer app” for this is, but it is fun to see the mechanisms behind web applications that have to serve thousands of people.

[via boingboing]

Comments

  1. hcsteve says:

    Although this is admittedly useless, it’s cool to see that somebody actually sat and figured this stuff out. Way to go!

  2. otakucode says:

    Uhhh… isn’t this all thoroughly documented in the completely open Amazon SDK?

    Not that I’m not all about wasting some time figuring out what is going on, but if the documentation is right there and easily available…

  3. carpespasm says:

    though it may be redindant, if he really reverse engeneered the strings needed to do the different manipulations, it’s pretty cool to me, someone reverse engeneer google’s database and we’ll be set. it seems odd to me that even though google has what amounts to the world’s single biggest cluster supercomputer, there really isn’t that much you interface with. i’m just imagining a little cozy looking cotage that’s google’s homepage with this enourmous factory beihind it, where only the magic google-gnomes are allowed in.

  4. I hope most of you are seeing the stupid joke in my image. If not, look closer, I did make it using this hack.

    Yeah, all of this is probably mentioned in the API, but it still is a nice piece of deduction.

  5. Stoneman says:

    Holy Jeebus those are big cans…I mean…uh… search inside…

  6. The only part covered in the SDK is small, medium, or large URLs. Amazon Hacks has a little variation, but this is definitely not just laid out anywhere from Amazon.

    Thanks!

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