I mainly search for images online when I need a web design inspiration or if I want to decorate a post of mine. Some recent image search engines and search engine applications seem really impressive to me. They offer a wide variety of interfaces, filtering and sorting options that I personally enjoy playing with.
So the big question (like with other search types) is: what should the image search look like? The image search giants (Google images, Yahoo images and even Flickr) represent rather a poor example of image search usability (to my mind). Luckily we have a number of good examples (still none of them is perfect):
1. Picitup offers really interesting filtering options (that overall work):
- show faces;
- show landscapes;
- show products;
- set color preferences.
2. Flickr based Tag Browser will show you related tags to your search term giving you more ideas to explore:
3. Picsearch advanced search provides a variety of filtering options:
- by file size;
- color (black and white, color or both);
- image type (animated or not).
4. Imagery is Google image based tool that basically does the same as Google but in a much more easy-to-use way: it offers advanced search options at the same page, each image size and dimensions, and image source page (when hovered over).
5. Exalead (known for integrating facial recognition technology) allows for a number of useful filtering options (and besides it shows the exact number of available results for each of them):
- searching for faces;
- grayscale or color;
- file types.
6. Snap.com offers a really great interface showing the list of images to the left and the image preview and characteristics to the right. The search is enhanced by quick filtering options letting you choose the color option (black and white or color) and image size.
7. Oskope visual search integrates data from a number of services: Yahoo image search, Flickr, Fotolia. It has a number of presentation options (grid, stack, pile, list, and graph) and scale grade enhancing your search experience. It also shows each image information (date and username for Flickr, size and dimensions for Yahoo image search) and source link when hovered over.
To cut the long story short here is a summing up table (the criteria are based solely on my personal opinion):
|SE / Criteria||Presentation||Search accuracy||Search options||Speed|
|flash||moderate (Flickr tag-based)||none||slow|
|Oskope||flash||moderate (Flickr and Yahoo based)||varied||moderate|
Post Image: Not the End of this Story
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Nice article, never knew that so many good image SE’s existed :$
I have bookmarked some of them and will use it the next time 😀
I’ve spent many late-night hours having fun with tag browser – it can be addictive. Thanks for pointing out so many other image SEs, but I’m going to have to buy a LOT more coffe now!
You really know this space… extraordinary article… I have it bookmarked to reread and use as a reference
I just LOVE the new Google Maps search with integrated Wikepedia and Panaramio photos – magnificent job from Google
As always, when lifting images from the web, there are copyright issues to take into account.
Personally, if I have the time, I create my own images. But I’m a designer. Most people aren’t…
I agree, where is your column ‘Creative Commons’/ Licence
because then you could also try to review sxc.hu, istockphoto and compfight.com
It appears you’ve found a lot of alt tag stuffing SEOs! Not least of which are my competitors, searchengineoptimizationcompany.ca lol.
Great list Ann, and good to see you posting again (keep it up more often!)
I would add this Flickr tag browser, which I found to be more practical than the Flash one, even if it doesn’t look as fancy:
At tineye.com, I found 19 versions of this image on 33 pages. Many had a flower in place of the sign.
Check out http://www.picitup.com, they have updated the site and it’s much better – Shape search, search flickr for creative common, image layouts, visual history and favorites.
Great list. Thanks for sharing.
beautiful article , deserve to be bookmarked
great list, thanks for sharing
very informative article, thanks a lot for sharing
This image enhancement is really great and more necessary that you have described here. i actually flowing this website. thanks a lot fro this best idea
What an idea! Really I like it and follow your image enhancement work. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.
This Really simple tips but very effective.