Enhancing visual search capabilities

May 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

The field of visual search engines remains to be an untapped resource. There are a number of websites that utilizes various visual search technologies but few have really come up with a true image search engine. Probably the closest to achieving a true image search engine is PicSearch.com . The visual search engine has developed its own technology which crawls the web and created a searchable index of images.

Using Picsearch is quite simple. Just like any search engines, you enter a query and wait for the results. The search results are sets of images shown in thumbnail sizes. The search engine uses unique indexing algorithms which make sure that the results are sorted according to the most relevant one. Viewing the full size of the image is not possible in Picsearch. Instead, the site links the original web site where the image is located so when you click on the thumbnail image you will be directed to the source site.

Picsearch also claims to have a secure and child friendly environment. They have installed advanced filtering systems which would block out any materials that could be offensive to children. However, the site is quick to say that even though they have a very competent filtering system, it is still not perfect and some offensive materials will sometimes still get through.

A great plus is the very easy user interface. You enter a search query, you get results relatively fast and surprisingly accurate.

One question that I would be asking in the near future is how would independent, product specific search engines like Picsearch would be affected by the recent announcement of Google Search of a “brand new” search engine product that it aptly called “Universal Search.”