BIG little Research Tips (#5-#6)

This is the next set of research tips in an ongoing series to help you with Internet searching. Let me know if you have any comments or tips of your own to share! Come back to this site for more tips in the coming days and weeks.

#5. Search For Images

Search engines also search images and you should consider images as more than just photographs. Anything that displays information visually is an image. I will often go to an image search when I am looking for data or comparisons because graphs, charts, or tables are often displayed as images. The data within these graphs, charts, or tables don’t always come through as text, so the engine’s crawler may not find it. Think of PowerPoint presentations you’ve created. Text on slides bores audiences. A good presentation will have pictures, cartoons, and graphics to illustrate a point. Much of that good information embedded in those slides never pop up in a general text search.

Search engines will have a link to the image search on their front page, or like DuckDuckGo, from the list of results once you do a search.

Use terms like “chart” or “table” or “data” to get closer to the format you need. Compare these images when you search for a table with data about population growth versus a chart about population growth.

Be sure to use the filters (images.bing.com) and tools (images.google.com) to focus your search to exactly what you need. You can limit the search to cartoons, faces, overall color, and even usage rights so you know you are not violating anyone’s copyright when you paste that perfect image into your presentation or blog post.

Zanran.com is a search engine that pulls graphs and charts from PDF documents. A great tool if what you really need is a visualization of data. If you are just looking for stock images that are high quality and freely available for use, try using Gratisography.com, or Pixabay.com.

What’s your favorite image search database? Let me know in the comments.

#6. Search By Image

Searching by image is also referred to as reverse image searching. Copy the image, or drag and drop one into the search box, and let the algorithms figure out what you are looking at or for. Take a spin on TinEye.com as an example of a reverse image search engine.

Another great use for this search by image tool is trying to find someone’s social media profiles. A lot of people will use the same photo across platforms, so if you have a photo of the person from one site, try searching with it to find other sites they may have used it on. If you happen to find the same photo on lots of profiles, you may not be dealing with an honest person or someone who is trying to hide their real identity. Catfish, anyone?

Google Lens is a great tool! It is a mobile app image recognition tool. I used it the other day in my back yard. I had a weed growing in my bushes and was curious about what it was. A quick snap with my phone using the Lens returned what I feared – it was poison ivy! Other uses include scanning a sign in foreign language and translate it to your preferred language. There are other suggested uses, too, at the product page.

Not finding what you need?
Contact me and I can help you find the information you need to make your clients happy.

See previous tips: 1-2, and 3-4.

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