Quickstart: Get image insights using the Bing Visual Search REST API and Node.js

Use this quickstart to make your first call to the Bing Visual Search API and view the search results. This simple JavaScript application uploads an image to the API, and displays the information returned about it. While this application is written in JavaScript, the API is a RESTful Web service compatible with most programming languages.

When uploading a local image, the form data must include the Content-Disposition header. You must set its name parameter to "image", and the filename parameter can be set to any string. The contents of the form include the binary data of the image. The maximum image size you may upload is 1 MB.

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="image"; filename="myimagefile.jpg"

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  • Node.js
  • The Request module for JavaScript. You can use npm install request command to install the module.
  • The form-data module. You can use the npm install form-data command to install the module.

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.

Initialize the application

  1. Create a JavaScript file in your favorite IDE or editor, and set the following requirements:

    var request = require('request');
    var FormData = require('form-data');
    var fs = require('fs');
  2. Create variables for your API endpoint, subscription key, and the path to your image:

    var baseUri = 'https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/bing/v7.0/images/visualsearch';
    var subscriptionKey = 'your-api-key';
    var imagePath = "path-to-your-image";
  3. Create a function named requestCallback() to print the response from the API:

    function requestCallback(err, res, body) {
        console.log(JSON.stringify(JSON.parse(body), null, '  '))

Construct and send the search request

  1. Create a new FormData object using FormData(), and append your image path to it, using fs.createReadStream():

    var form = new FormData();
    form.append("image", fs.createReadStream(imagePath));
  2. Use the request library to upload the image, and call requestCallback() to print the response. Be sure to add your subscription key to the request header:

    form.getLength(function(err, length){
      if (err) {
        return requestCallback(err);
      var r = request.post(baseUri, requestCallback);
      r._form = form; 
      r.setHeader('Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key', subscriptionKey);

Next steps