Picture Search: Google Images vs. Pixolu

By moonparkmoonpark (1261427572|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

This blog deals with two different image search tools and their comparisons: Google Images and Pixolu

Introduction: What is image search?

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With the increasing demand for sophisticated image search engines, numerous different technology companies have attempted to address this need through their web search tools. Some of these tools include Ask Images, PicSearch, and Yahoo Images. Although there are many different query systems, I will focus on Google Images and Pixolu (an alternative image search engine tool). This blog will evaluate the key features of each search tool while assessing their effectiveness in locating the relevant images. In addition, I will go over my experiences with these tools, and give you my recommendations based on ease of use and efficiency.

Use

So how can these tools help the users? Well if the users are looking for simple images for their presentation or for their joy, it would be useful to use the Google Images. However, what if you are looking for very specific image… Will Google Images help then… The answer is NO. It will take forever for a surfer to locate a very specific photo since web search tools such as Google Image targets keywords for the query. As a result, it would be more effective to use tools like Pixolu, which scans for similar photos as the ones that users are specifically looking for.

Google Images

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Google Images was created by the Google Inc and allows the surfers to search for images throughout the web. The Google Image system works very similar to the original web query system they have in place. The keyword input section helps the Google Image to locate the images based on filename, link text, and texts around the image. Once the search is complete Google archives all of the results in a thumbnail format where the user is able to pick the one they like. Once the image is clicked, there is a small display of the image on the top of the page while the website appears on the bottom. There is a new feature Google Image, which was introduced on October 27, 2009 and helps the surfers to access similar images.

From my experience with the search engine, it seems to do a great job at finding variety of different images from the users query. However, if I am looking for a very specific picture, it has a hard time finding the necessary image. Furthermore, there tend to be very few options for the user to narrow down the search. Although the surfer is able to size, type of image, color, and description, there are no options to find very specific photos. The image quality also seems to be varying without any organization (Some are very high quality while most are very small and low in quality). There is an advanced image search options, but it does not help much. Users can also narrow the image by size but not by quality. Overall, it is a decent image search tool…

Pros

  • Very simple to use
  • Maintains a large number of images (Good at querying)
  • Fast search time
  • Results tend to be relevant

Cons

  • Lack of options for the user
  • Tend to be disorganized in terms of image quality
  • Too many steps to get to the image

How to use the advance feature of Google Image

Pixolu

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Pixolu is a image search engine that locates similar pictures based on users key selections. Although there are no options for the users, it is an effective site for finding similar photos. My experience with this site has been overall positive. It is somewhat cumbersome to work with this system. The search tool tends to be very slow and requires a fast computer to fully utilize the sites’ capabilities. Furthermore, the system design is confusing. In order to go to the website with the image, the user must click the photo and then click the link on the right side of the screen. However, it was very effective at finding a very specific image. On the other hand, there are many different processes to obtain this image. The user must pick some images that are to their end result and then keep on narrowing the results until the surfer reaches the goal. This is a good website for finding specific images.

Pros

  • Great at finding a very specific image
  • Unique search engine experience

Cons

  • Very slow
  • Cumbersome to use
  • Requires a lot of memory/fast computer
  • No options
  • Confusing interface

How to use Pixolu

Conclusion (Recommendation and Comparison)

Overall there are many differences between Google Images and Pixolu. These two tools have different objective use, and therefore I would not recommend one over the other. If the user wants to generic find some images for personal use (i.e. presentations), I would recommend using Google Images since it has a broad range of photos. On the other hand, if the surfer is trying to find very specific pictures or have a picture in mind, I would recommend using Pixolu. Although the query process is cumbersome, the end results are amazing. Therefore, my recommendation is using both websites based on the purpose of the search.

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