Call the Image Analysis API

This article demonstrates how to call the Image Analysis API to return information about an image's visual features.

This guide assumes you have already create a Computer Vision resource and obtained a subscription key and endpoint URL. If you haven't, follow a quickstart to get started.

Submit data to the service

You submit either a local image or a remote image to the Analyze API. For local, you put the binary image data in the HTTP request body. For remote, you specify the image's URL by formatting the request body like the following: {"url":""}.

Determine how to process the data

Select visual features

The Analyze API gives you access to all of the service's image analysis features. You need to specify which features you want to use by setting the URL query parameters. A parameter can have multiple values, separated by commas. Each feature you specify will require additional computation time, so only specify what you need.

URL parameter Value Description
visualFeatures Adult detects if the image is pornographic in nature (depicts nudity or a sex act), or is gory (depicts extreme violence or blood). Sexually suggestive content (aka racy content) is also detected.
Brands detects various brands within an image, including the approximate location. The Brands argument is only available in English.
Categories categorizes image content according to a taxonomy defined in documentation. This is the default value of visualFeatures.
Color determines the accent color, dominant color, and whether an image is black&white.
Description describes the image content with a complete sentence in supported languages.
Faces detects if faces are present. If present, generate coordinates, gender and age.
ImageType detects if image is clip art or a line drawing.
Objects detects various objects within an image, including the approximate location. The Objects argument is only available in English.
Tags tags the image with a detailed list of words related to the image content.
details Celebrities identifies celebrities if detected in the image.
Landmarks identifies landmarks if detected in the image.

A populated URL might look like the following:


Specify languages

You can also specify the language of the returned data. The following URL query parameter specifies the language. The default value is en.

URL parameter Value Description
language en English
es Spanish
ja Japanese
pt Portuguese
zh Simplified Chinese

A populated URL might look like the following:



Scoped API calls

Some of the features in Image Analysis can be called directly as well as through the Analyze API call. For example, you can do a scoped analysis of only image tags by making a request to https://{endpoint}/vision/v3.2/tag. See the reference documentation for other features that can be called separately.

Get results from the service

The service returns a 200 HTTP response, and the body contains the returned data in the form of a JSON string. The following is an example of a JSON response.

        "text":"partridge in a pear tree",

See the following table for explanations of the fields in this example:

Field Type Content
Tags object The top-level object for an array of tags.
tags[].Name string The keyword from the tags classifier.
tags[].Score number The confidence score, between 0 and 1.
description object The top-level object for an image description.
description.tags[] string The list of tags. If there is insufficient confidence in the ability to produce a caption, the tags might be the only information available to the caller.
description.captions[].text string A phrase describing the image.
description.captions[].confidence number The confidence score for the phrase.

Error codes

See the following list of possible errors and their causes:

  • 400
    • InvalidImageUrl - Image URL is badly formatted or not accessible.
    • InvalidImageFormat - Input data is not a valid image.
    • InvalidImageSize - Input image is too large.
    • NotSupportedVisualFeature - Specified feature type is not valid.
    • NotSupportedImage - Unsupported image, e.g. child pornography.
    • InvalidDetails - Unsupported detail parameter value.
    • NotSupportedLanguage - The requested operation is not supported in the language specified.
    • BadArgument - Additional details are provided in the error message.
  • 415 - Unsupported media type error. The Content-Type is not in the allowed types:
    • For an image URL: Content-Type should be application/json
    • For a binary image data: Content-Type should be application/octet-stream or multipart/form-data
  • 500
    • FailedToProcess
    • Timeout - Image processing timed out.
    • InternalServerError


While working with Computer Vision, you might encounter transient failures caused by rate limits enforced by the service, or other transient problems like network outages. For information about handling these types of failures, see Retry pattern in the Cloud Design Patterns guide, and the related Circuit Breaker pattern.

Next steps

To try out the REST API, go to the Image Analysis API Reference.