Established in 1992, IDS began developing image management software that enabled digitally scanned images to be catalogued on a computer. At that time, most companies did not possess sufficient quantities of digitised images in their photo archives to warrant the development of a digital cataloguing solution.

It became obvious to us that our product was way ahead of its time. Working closely with Kodak, IDS spent many years setting up and training scanners, digital cameras and printers in the offices of the UK’s leading photo agencies to talk to each other, by developing ‘software bridges’.

IDS began developing a number of large image database building projects. Working with the Automobile Association, we set up a scanning department to digitise the AA Photo Library, ensuring that this specialist resource of travel images from around the world will be available for years to come.

We also worked on large image database projects for the British Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence, Scotland Yard and Thames Water to digitise and catalogue their photo collections. The Imperial War Museum’s database of War Memorials across the UK was organised by IDS. IDS helped set up Fotango one of the first world’s first photo sharing websites that was later acquired by Canon.

As the internet exploded, we built and developed websites that allowed our clients to market their image collections online. The first website IDS developed was for the A-Z Botanical Collection. Since then we have developed many more online solutions and still host websites for a number of our clients today.

The number of photo library websites IDS hosted quickly grew and so the idea for IDS PictureDesk was born. This new portal aggregated image content from a large range of photo agencies, giving photo editors access to a vast range of content on one easy to use online platform.

IDS PictureDesk now serves in excess of 40,000 images a day from more than 150 photo agencies to the photo editors of the leading newspaper and magazine publishers in the UK. Today it boasts a searchable photo archive of more than 150 million images and we have also developed the IDS App, which allows IDS subscribers to login and view the latest content on the go.

No project is the same and they all have their own unique challenges, but at IDS we are able to work quickly and effectively to find innovative imaging solutions for a wide range of clients.