Inconvenient backup and restore of Sites with Catalog Connections to different URLs

Using Catalog Connections in SharePoint 2013 offers great flexibility with regard to content reuse within as well as across Farms. Unfortunately, as Catalog Connections are based on URLs, they break if you restore your Site Collections to different URLs. So is rebuilding Catalog Connections the only option or is there a better way to work with Catalog Connections and backup and restore of Site Collections to different URLs?

Using Image Renditions with images from other Site Collections

One of the new capabilities of SharePoint 2013 are Image Renditions. Unfortunately by default the UI only allows you to apply renditions to images from the current Site Collection. And although you could apply renditions to images from other Site Collections manually there is an easier way to do it.