Gazopa – search for images by similarity or keywords

[update] Since writing of this post Gazopa has been shut down by developers.

When you have one tool that does fine job it is hard to choose right moment to try out alternatives. TinEye worked fine for me, so pitch  from Hideki Kobayashi (project leader) about GazoPa gathered dust little longer than usual.

I got to it today and explored this search engine for images that can work both with similarity and keywords.

What it does

GazoPa is a site that maintains index of publicly available online images and allows to search through them.

gazopa_interface

It support multiply input types for search:

  • uploading or linking to existing image;
  • drawing image in browser;
  • text keywords.

Strong features

Engine is rather flexible and allows to customize plenty of options, such as image type, desired sizes and freshness.

There are few tabs that acts like channels and pull images (also searchable) from services like Twitter and Flickr.

Downsides

While TinEye specializes in very precise matches, Gazopa looks for images that are alike but not necessarily same or share same parts. It can be both good or bad, depends on what you want from it. For images I tried it strays pretty quick from exact matches to images in same color scheme and similar layout.

Interface feels really clunky. It took me few minutes to apply filters first time – required absolutely unobvious press of search button with empty search box.

Overall

Interesting service with vast functionality slightly undermined by interface quirks. For exact matches I think TinEye would be better choice, but GazoPa is better for exploring images on specific topic or freely.

Link http://www.gazopa.com/

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8 Comments

  • Been using it since the private beta stage. I had needed a similar images search and had found Gazopa. Did not find Tineye at that time and Google, I think, had not come out with similar images search at that time. However nice to know the differences. You should have included Google in the comparison.

  • @Saurabh

    Google uses rather different approach and doesn’t take image as input (I think?). It is related but different.

    And since I am mostly using TinEye and almost don’t use Google Image Search it was easier for me to fall back on former for comparison.

  • @Rarst Ah yes. I noticed now that images are not allowed to be uploaded in Google. They only let you select images in their search and click “Find similar images”. Good for both TinEye and Gazopa though. I guess it must be the ultimate fear of IT companies that Google enters their market with all its glory without buying them out.
    I also noticed now that TinEye has 1,371,723,161 images in its index compared to only 60,000,000 for Gazopa. Unless Google enters properly into the game, TinEye is the winner here.

  • On trying out Tineye a little more I find that what you have mentioned as a advantage for Tineye is actually for me its downside. Its searches are so exact and so precise that I can’t really see a use for it other than searching for image copyright violations. Many of my searches returned 0 results.
    On a different note, what about allowing us commenters to edit our comments? I find that a comment without at least one edit is not enough for me. :)

  • @Saurabh

    Yep, it is primarily for exact matches. It’s their business, TinEye is kinda promotional product.

    I considered plugin to edit comments in place. Downside is that such plugins load extra scripts in page, which slows it down. Since very low percentage of visitors comment it is harming many to benefit few.

    It also isn’t mainstream enough feature to be always expected. Personally I rely on Opera’s spell checker and proofreading before submit. :)

  • Its okay if you are fine with me commenting 5 times on a post. :) No I was not really meaning proofreading. I generally am not able to think linearly and only remember about some things I had tried out or I should have tried out only after commenting.

  • @Saurabh

    I don’t mind at all. :) And you are hardly only reader around to do that by the way. It is better to have vocal commenters than mute.

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