If you’ve ever visited a web page that features nothing but blocks of text, you’ve likely realized how important images are. Images make web pages easier to read and aesthetically pleasing. They’re also capable to conveying important or complex information in a simple manner. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Images are crucial components to a successful web page, but their importance goes beyond the surface level meaning. For many web pages, images can contain interesting and valuable data which, when extracted, can be extremely useful. For this reason, capturing an image URL is a step that needs to be executed regularly.
What is an image URL?
URL stands for uniform resource locator, and put simply, it is the address of something found on the internet. Most commonly, a URL refers to the web address of a web page. It’s what you type into the address bar on your browser.
An image URL acts in much the same way; it’s the address of an image found on a web page. In most cases, the image URL will end with PNG, JPG, BMP, or JPG, all specific image formats. Some image URLs may go with the web page URL, but often that is not the case. Just be aware of that fact as you look for the image URL you want to copy.
Using data extraction from Import.io to capture the image
With import.io, your data extraction can go beyond what you see on a website, and can include hidden data that is part of the page. For example, you can capture Alt-image (the description for an image) or the actual URL behind a link, and add that to your captured data. Import.io automatically captures this data, so you don’t have to dig through the code.
Import.io automatically captures the image URL and alt tag.
How to manually get an image URL
While you may know you need to find and copy the image URL, there may be some question as to how to do it. One way to find an image URL is by looking through the source code itself. Within the HTML code, you’ll see images represented with the <img> tag. It’s within that tag that you’ll find all sorts of information regarding the image in question. For example, the “style” attribute within the tag defines the dimensions of the image, or the “alt” attribute represents alternate text that can be displayed in case the image can’t be shown for whatever reason.
Within the <img> tag, you’ll see an attribute listed as “src”. The “src” attribute will then list a web address within quotation marks. The address is the image URL.
So the HTML for an image will look a lot like this:
The “picinfo.jpg” is the image URL.
That’s a pretty extensive way of finding what you need. There are other ways to capture the URL of an image. Sometimes it’s as easy as right-clicking on the image, but selecting the right command from the resulting pop-up menu will depend on what browser you’re using. In Google Chrome or Safari, you would select “copy image address”. In Firefox, you would need to choose “Copy image location”. In Microsoft Edge, make sure to select “copy link”.
Sometimes, the command to get the image URL won’t show up in the menu when you right-click on the image. This may require searching for the image in Google Images. You can try to do this manually, or you can drag and drop the image into the search bar. Either way, when you see the image you want in the results, then you can right-click to get the URL. An alternative way to do this is to right-click the image, then select the option to get more info about the image (it’s usually under “Properties”, “Inspect”, or “View image info”). A new window will open displaying the image’s properties, one of which will be the image URL.
Capturing an image URL on mobile devices
Things change a bit when it comes to getting the image URL from a mobile device. Much of the same technique still applies in order to copy it, but once you find the image you’re looking for, you’ll need to tape the “Share” icon. This will bring up a new menu with more choices, one of which is the “Copy link address” option. Select it and the image URL will be copied for future use. This holds true whether you’re on an Android or iPhone device.