I am developing an application within the construction industry that will involve a significant amount of image processing. Most of these images will be in the form of GIS maps and CAD drawings (2D and 3D), but photographs and videos will also be included. Key to the success of the application will be the ability to drill down through the layers of various images and jump in and out of related details. My question is simply this: how can MS SQL Server R2 help?
You can use FileStream, which will perform quite well when serving up files that are of a large enough size (above 1MB shows faster speeds than a fileserver IIRC) Take a look at [High-Performance FileStream Tips and Tricks] for some pointers better usage of FileStream. You should be able to build a hierarchy of pictures in SQL Server using either the Hierarchy data type, or by standard hierarchical constructs in T-SQL. That would aid you in the drill down / related pictures part of the implementation. :