17 Image Search notes


In class, we have outlined the numerous different ways to query images. The more traditional search tools include Google Images, Yahoo Images, and Ask Images, which tend to do a good job in locating desired images, but lack in search options for the users. However, there are varieties of alternate image search engines such as Flickr. Today’s lecture was based on these alternate image search tools: Google News Images, Yahoo News Images, Flickr, Compfight, Behold, Pixolu…

Types of Image Search Tools

  • Normal web query engines
  • News image
  • Obtaining similar image types
  • People face query
  • Up-to-date images

Please Note There are some search tools that you must subscribe/pay in order to use

Traditional Search Tools

Google Images:

  • Users can search the sites by size, type of image, description
  • Limited options/features for the user
  • Does a good job finding the necessary pictures
  • There is an advanced section for some other features

Yahoo Images

  • Filter by size, domain, and color
  • Similar to Google Image
  • Very limited in terms of user customization for search
  • Gives some side options during the query

Ask Images

  • Similar to Google Image and Yahoo Image


  • Can search for animations
  • Similar to Google Image and Yahoo Image

These are the tools that people use the most due to their high brand awareness and ease of use. However, these search engines might not be the best system to use depending on the situation. The list below goes into detail of very specialized image search engines.

News Image Sites

Yahoo News & Google News

These tools are used to find images regarding current events. Although they have tons of pictures in their archive, users cannot directly search for images. As a result, the searcher needs to type in the keywords and then click enter. It will then take the user to the result page where the top line will be filled with pictures. If the searcher wants to see more photos, there is a link right below the first picture, which will take the user to archive page. This site tends to be useful when the user is looking for news related pictures.

Flickr Tools

This is an alternate image search tool than the traditional ones mentioned above. The users can query by using full text or inputting keywords. In addition, the website provides tags for each of the pictures, which helps to locate pictures easily. There are tons of different features on this website, and should definitely advise to check out the tour section


This is the Flickr search tool section. The user can search either based on text or tags, which are located on the left side of the search tool box. The results tend to be different for each of these features. If you are looking for a very specific item/object, users are advised to use the tagging feature rather than the text, which only covers the keyword section.


This is a useful tool that allows the users to search for files with a specific tag while narrowing the picture to certain criteria. As a result, the retrieved pictures tend to be very relevant to users’ needs. In addition, this search can locate images based on licenses.

Similar Images


This search engine is supposed to narrow users search query by refining the results based on users’ request. This is a powerful tool that scans through its archives to find similar images by elimination. The end results tend to be full of relevant pictures. Although there are other similar search tools such as GazoPa and TinEye, Pixolu seems to be the best at what it does. Furthermore, it has a large archive with many high quality images.

Face Search Tool

These tools specialize in locating photos/images of portraits.


The results tend to be based on relevance and the lower the users scroll the less relevant the portraits will be. In addition, the site will continuously update the images as users scroll lower, which is useful since the surfer does not have to keep on clicking next. Other similar tools include Picitup and FaceSaerch, which are not as good as Exalead.

Real Time Image

PicFog, TwitCaps, and PicBrk

The pictures keep on updating on the screen based on the most recent post. These sites are not good at picking out the most relevant pictures nor are they good for good quality photos. Therefore, these are more for fun purposes rather than for an objective search.

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