What Is a Crop?

16:9 Center gravity crop visualised using the kinja crop tool
Illustration: Alternative Energy Revolution (xkcd)

If the image you uploaded doesn’t have 16:9 Aspect Ratio, kinja, in recirc modules, will force the image to fit into a 16:9 space by removing parts of the image. The part kinja removes is determined by the gravity of the image. If the gravity is North kinja will remove the bottom part of the image, if it’s Center, equal parts from the top and bottom will be removed.

Most of kinja is using center crops except the “You May Also Like” module and the Recommended Module. This can lead to having different versions of the same image on the same page. That doesn’t look good, hurts the reader’s perceived performance and costs us money. To mitigate these issues we’re now removing North crops from kinja.

Some Examples

As all forced gravity crops these will work well for some images and not so well for others. The kinja editortm gives you fine control over the images, so if North gravity doesn’t work for you, just crop your main image to 16:9.


Next Steps

Having less confusion about the image transfroms will make it a lot easier for us to switch to Auto (magic) gravity. An algorithm will decide which part of the image is the most interesting to show. We were experimenting with auto crops in the last hackathlon and I’m proud to say, we have successfully found an elephant hiding on a picture.