Quickstart: Search for images with the Bing Image Search SDK for C#

Use this quickstart to make your first image search using the Bing Image Search SDK, which is a wrapper for the API and contains the same features. This simple C# application sends an image search query, parses the JSON response, and displays the URL of the first image returned.

The source code for this sample is available on GitHub with additional error handling and annotations.


To install the Bing Image Search SDK in Visual Studio, use the Manage NuGet Packages option from Solution Explorer.

You must have a Cognitive Services API account with access to the Bing Search APIs. If you don't have an Azure subscription, you can create an account for free. Before continuing, You will need the access key provided after activating your free trial, or a paid subscription key from your Azure dashboard.

See also Cognitive Services Pricing - Bing Search API.

Create and initialize the application

First, create a new C# console application in Visual Studio. Then add the following packages to your project.

using System;
using System.Linq;
using Microsoft.Azure.CognitiveServices.Search.ImageSearch;
using Microsoft.Azure.CognitiveServices.Search.ImageSearch.Models;

In the main method of your project, create variables for your valid subscription key, the image results to be returned by Bing, and a search term. Then instantiate the image search client using the key.

//IMPORTANT: replace this variable with your Cognitive Services subscription key
string subscriptionKey = "ENTER YOUR KEY HERE";
//stores the image results returned by Bing
Images imageResults = null;
// the image search term to be used in the query
string searchTerm = "canadian rockies";

//initialize the client
//NOTE: If you're using version 1.2.0 or below for the Bing Image Search SDK, 
// use ImageSearchAPI() instead of ImageSearchClient() to initialize your search client.

var client = new ImageSearchClient(new ApiKeyServiceClientCredentials(subscriptionKey));

Send a search query using the client

Use the client to search with a query text:

// make the search request to the Bing Image API, and get the results"
imageResults = client.Images.SearchAsync(query: searchTerm).Result; //search query

Parse and view the first image result

Parse the image results returned in the response. If the response contains search results, store the first result and print out its details, such as a thumbnail URL, the original URL,along with the total number of returned images.

if (imageResults != null)
    //display the details for the first image result.
    var firstImageResult = imageResults.Value.First();
    Console.WriteLine($"\nTotal number of returned images: {imageResults.Value.Count}\n");
    Console.WriteLine($"Copy the following URLs to view these images on your browser.\n");
    Console.WriteLine($"URL to the first image:\n\n {firstImageResult.ContentUrl}\n");
    Console.WriteLine($"Thumbnail URL for the first image:\n\n {firstImageResult.ThumbnailUrl}");

Next steps

See also