Searchme Launches Multimedia Visual Search

Searchme has rolled out what it calls "true" blended search results, combining web, video, images, music and Twitter results organized by their relevance and playable inside the search results page. Searchme displays results as small versions of entire web pages, in a format that looks just like the "cover flow" display in iTunes. I love Searchme as a "recall engine," using it to find web pages or sites that I've previously visited but can't remember the site name or URL. The visual display of results, with the ability to quickly scroll through mini-versions of pages makes it easy to reco [...]


Yahoo Upgrades Flickr Mobile; Google Upgrades Picasa

Photo search took a couple steps forward today with announcements from both Yahoo and Google. The news from Yahoo is a mobile makeover of its Flickr photo sharing site, while Google announced a variety of improvements to its Picasa photo service. Here's a look at the two announcements: Flickr's "Mobile Makeover" With visits to Flickr's mobile site (m.flickr.com) up more than 50% in the past year, the mobile site now shares much of the same features and functionality that Flickr users are familiar with on the main site. The Yahoo announcement trumpets the new video playback capabili [...]


Search Pictures With Pictures At Live Search

Live Search announced you can now use images to find similar images in Live Image Search. To use this feature, you go to Live Image Search, search for an image, hover over an image, and click on "show similar images." For example, I conducted an image search for myself, [barry schwartz], I then located a picture of myself. I hovered over the picture and selected "show similar images," which took me to this result set. I can see how Live Search felt those images are similar. Most the results are with blue shirts, most are of faces of people and so on. Here is a picture of where to find [...]


7 Search Tools You May Not Know … But Should

Google UK recently shared a list of 52 Things to Do on a variety of Google properties (found via Phil Bradley). It's a collection of tools and tips about using Google products and services for some everyday functions. If you're a search power user, you probably know most of them already. But Google's message seems to be, "Did you know you could do all this stuff on Google?" It got us thinking about non-Google search tools that might have slipped notice altogether, or just fallen off your radar. With that in mind, here's a list of seven search tools you may not know about ... but should. [...]


Google’s Pittman Talks About Visual Search & Facial Recognition Capabilities

Beet.TV interviewed R.J. Pittman, Google's Director of Product Management for Consumer Search Properties, about image search. The video is below, but here is my short summary of the interview. Pittman said Image Search has huge growth opportunity for Google. Google explained that text doesn't always describe the image, so they use other techniques. They use image processing, computer vision, and visual search (understanding something about the pixels in the picture). Visual search is something they are really excited about, including facial recognition. For example, imagine uploading your [...]


Google Paper: Better Image Search Though VisualRank / Image Rank

A Google Prototype for a Precision Image Search from the New York Times covers a new research paper (PDF format) from Google that talks about a way of ranking images based on analyzing "visual links" between them. Image search at the major search engines today largely relies on looking at words that are used around images -- on the pages that host them, in image file names, and in ALT text associated with them. No real image recognition is done by any of the majors. Search for "apples," and they haven't actually somehow scanned the images itself to "see" i [...]


Yahoo Including Facebook Profile Images In Search Results

The Digital Inspiration blog is reporting that Facebook profile images are now appearing as thumbnails in general Yahoo search results (as opposed to image search results). I tried several times to find the images, using different people's names along with related phrases including "Facebook profile," and was unable to duplicate the results. (Google has been including Facebook Profile data in search results for some time.) [...]


Google: We Didn’t Censor Aboutrika’s Gaza T-Shirt Photo

Google's Matt Cutts has lent his personal blog to the Google Images search team so they could debunk a rumor that Google censored an image of an Egyptian football player, Mohammad Aboutrika, stripping off his team jersey during the African Cup Of Nations to show a "Sympathize With Gaza" T-shirt underneath. No censoring, says Google -- it was just a problem with Google Images being stale. I can totally believe that explanation. It's just embarrassing that it's the same explanation Google gave when a similar question over Google Images came up in 2004. Over four years later, you'd exp [...]


Digg Those Pics & Only Those Pics At Digpicz.com

Every wanted to see the highest rated images over at Digg? Digpicz.com has launched to serve that purpose as the "unofficial Digg Picture Browser," commentsStan Schroeder. Digpicz uses the Digg API to aggregate images from Digg and place them in one location. Digg has sections for news, video, and podcasts, but it does not have a section devoted to images, something many on Digg have wanted. That is where Digpicz comes in. You can learn more about how the creator made Digpicz work at his blog. Here is a screen capture: [...]


Live Image Search Adds Face, Portrait, B/W, & Related Features

The Live Search Blog announced new image search features over the weekend. The new features include a way to search for images of people by face, portrait, black & white and related people. Here are examples of the new features in action, by searching for [paris]: pairs without any filter, mostly shows Paris Hilton but does show an image of the Eiffel Tower paris filter:face mostly shows face shots of Paris Hilton paris filter:portrait shows more full body shows of Paris Hilton paris filter:bw shows images of Paris Hilton, the Eiffel Tower and other images in black and white The [...]


Yahoo Images Gains Flickr Photos

Yahoo Image Search now contains photos from Yahoo's Flickr photo sharing service, ironically catching Yahoo up to Google, Microsoft and Ask.com -- all of which already included Flickr photos in their respective image search engines. Yahoo blogged about the change: Now when you use Yahoo! Image Search, in addition to the billions of images we crawl from the Web, you've got access to over 300 million images from the amazing community of photographers on Flickr. As noted in both the Yahoo post and Search Engine Journal's story on the integration, Flickr photos shown in Yahoo Image Search ha [...]


Exalead Adds Image Search, Facial Recognition Capabilities

Exalead, a search engine that's popular among librarians and information professionals thanks to its array of advanced search capabilities, has added an image search function for more than 1 billion images on the web. Included in the image search tool is the ability to drill down on human faces, thanks to integration of LTU Technologies' leading facial recognition software. Image search functions include: Image size: Filter images by small, medium or large to find the right image quickly Wallpaper: Sort results by an image's resolution Image Color: Narrow down search results to only black [...]


MySpace To Buy Photobucket For $300 Million

Valleywag broke the news that MySpace would be acquiring Photobucket for about $300 million. Many blogs are discussing that the purchase price was a steal in comparison to Google's purchase of YouTube. Techcrunch also looks at the overlap of MySpace users and Photobucket users, saying there is "nearly 100% overlap in users." More coverage at Techmeme. [...]


Goodbye Yahoo Photos; Yahoo Loves Flickr More

TechCrunch and USA Today have news that Yahoo is to close its popular Yahoo Photos service completely in the coming months, telling people to either switch to Flickr or leave to a number of other competing photo sharing services. From USA Today: Yahoo has said that it kept both services going after the acquisition because they appealed to different audiences. But Thursday, it said in a statement that Yahoo Photos was closing because of the changing nature of the Internet. Digital photography has evolved "into a social activity that allows people to communicate and connect," Yaho [...]


Return To The Search Engine Shoot-Out

My colleague Chris Sherman briefly looked at the PC World ‘Search Engine Shoot-out’ article the other day, and I also mentioned it in my own weblog. I read through the article briefly, but something about it kept nagging me, so I wanted to go back and look at it in rather more detail. The more I look at it, the more concerns I have over the piece. The first concern of course is the idea that there’s a ‘best search engine’. There’s very little difference between saying that and saying that there is a ‘best reference book’ or ‘best President’ or ‘best television programme [...]


Teaching Google To See Images

"Image search" is really something of a misnomer, because current generation search engines rely primarily on text to "understand" all types of content, including images. When you search for images on Google, Flickr or most other search engines, they aren't examining the pixels that make up images. Instead, search engines look for clues that might identify relevant images—clues like descriptive filenames, tags, text near an image (think captions) and even the anchor text of links that point directly at image files. Search engines take this awkward approach because it's much more difficu [...]


Happy Birthday, Flickr: Web 2.0 Pioneer Turns Three

On March 3rd, Flickr turns three. Flickr is in many ways the company that helped define "Web 2.0" and was its poster child for quite some time. And Yahoo's acquisition of Flickr, in March, 2005, after only a year in existence and, even then, a longish courtship was one of the best consumer moves Yahoo's made in the past couple years. Flickr and the community mindset it brought along, not to mention tagging, have been widely integrated across numerous Yahoo properties. Here's the Business 2.0 article, "The Flickrization of Yahoo" that appeared in late 2005. Indeed, Flickr has had a "cultura [...]


Polar Rose Promising Face Recognition Image Search

I got a press release today from Polar Rose, a new company promising to bring facial recognition technology to those seeking images from across the web. In other words, want to find all the pictures of Bill Clinton? Polar Rose says it will make it happen through a browser plug-in that works with existing photo services, as well as through partnerships. If this sounds familiar, I'll revisit Riya's recent foray and back away from facial recognition. The full press release is below. In short, Polar Rose says that sometime between January 1 and March 31 of next year, they'll release a browse [...]


Google’s Picasa Add Photo Search & Other Features

The Google blog announced that Picasa, Google's photo sharing application, now enables you to search photos. You can search your own or your friends' public albums captions, album titles, and album descriptions. Picasa also added the ability to print your pictures with Shutterfly or PhotoWorks and a feature to enable you to upload your videos for easy sharing in Picasa. [...]


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