blog:Image Search is Great

By tmuirtmuir (1225318905|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Like many others, I came in to the image search pretty skeptical. I’ve been using Google Image Search exclusively for the last few years, and I’ve been mostly satisfied with it. Like everything else before this class, when I just wanted a picture of something I would go to Google and type in a couple of words and it would return more or less (sometimes much less) what I was looking for.

When I took at the lecture notes I thought it was ridiculous. Look at all those different search engines! Absurd! There’s no way that they can all be useful or really any different from each other. That is true in some sense, most of the General Search engines are pretty much interchangeable in the way that regular search engines are. You’ll see some overlap, but it will all just be kind of what you are looking for.

But I have to tell you, the more specialized search engines are amazing. Even though I haven’t gotten Pixolu.de to go all the way through to the end yet it is still just visually impressive. The Flickr searches are also a nice touch. It is really refreshing to be able to accurately search through the pictures that other real people have taken. There’s some really good stuff in there , too – both in terms of quality and subject matter.

The other thing that I didn’t necessarily realize (explicitly at least) is that every picture has a story. Usually, the picture is linked inside that story. So by doing an image search on a topic you are interested in, you can find story related to an image instead of how you would normally do it the other way around. Here’s a hint about why that is useful: Interesting pictures usually come with interesting stories. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a totally amazing picture and then the explanation behind it was totally mundane, boring or banal? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say never, and if not never then maybe once or twice.

For the above mentioned reason, image searching news sites can be incredibly helpful finding relevant news sources quickly. The same photo from the AP or other similar news outlet is often used and credited at many different sites who are writing a story on the same topic. This can help you easily and quickly manage a lot of information about the same topic from many different news sources.

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