Images in the Knowledge Graph

There is more than meets the eye in Google’s algorithms for choosing images to show in the Knowledge Graph. Bill Slawski gives a summary of the patent.

How Google Decides Which Images To Show For Entities In Knowledge Panels, SEO by the Sea (Aug 16)

“The combination of image scores and quality scores for web pages that contain images of entities might be used to generate an image authority score.”

Hulbee – new alternative search engine

Announcements of new search engines are rare. From Switzerland comes a new search engine called Hulbee that promises privacy in searching (away from prying eyes in the USA) and semantic understanding of query and results.

“Leveraging semantic search algorithms, Hulbee provides users with a means to find what they’re looking for, even when they’re unsure of the precise phrase or term to input.”

Hulbee Launches Only Privacy-First Search Engine Secure From NSA, EU And Data Miners – PRNewswire (Aug 5)

“Unlike other search engines, which deliver results based of what’s most often searched, Hulbee is based on semantic search, which focuses on the meaning of the word and on various themes associated with it. After sifting through data in 33 languages, the Hulbee search engine presents a collection of words presented in colorful thematic tiles on the screen, giving users a broad range of choices rather than just the most popular selections.”

It’s attractive and seems serviceable for finding relevant search results. It had sufficient depth for the query I tried for Ontario history. People needing an alternate search engine might explore this.

The tiles display Hulbee’s view of concepts (described as a word cloud) . Word clouds have nearly disappeared from search, and I’m glad to see Hulbee revive this as an aid for refining the query. Don’t be unnerved, though, if you see an ad in the panel of concept tiles on the left.

Hulbee Search Engine

Hulbee Search Engine

Image database seems limited at this time but it does have controls for size, color, style, face, and aspect.

Translator on the menubar will be handy for anyone working in multiple languages.

Other collections are video and music. The shopping vertical is definitely meant for Europeans.

Bing Image Search Excels

Bing has raised the standard for image search on the web with recent improvements that provide more information and more leads. Use Bing Images as a starting point for your next query to get ideas and find relevant pages. Has excellent aids for refining the search, as well as filters on colour, layout, date, size and license.

Be inspired, learn more and do more through image search Bing Blogs (April 9)

Filtering images by usage rights

Google has at long last made it easier to filter a search for images according to usage license. Can access that from search options now – and not have to go into advanced search. Bing’s image search has had this feature for some time.

Google Image Search Adds Usage Rights To Search Tools
, Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land (Jan 14)

But as Barry Schwartz warns, an image might seem to be available through creative common rights in error – check thoroughly before using.

Images from the British Library

A gift to all – British Library has uploaded 1 million scans of images from 17th to 19th century illustrations. They are in Flickr; various rights apply – some are free of copyright, others – full rights reserved. Can search by sets: e.g., maps, portraits, illustrated letters, Christmas. Find them at

British Library uploads a million archival images for free use, CBC (Dec 13)

The library’s goal was for anyone to “use, remix and repurpose” the enormous digital treasure trove of illustrations, maps, landscapes, paintings and decorative letters. It’s the first step in an interesting new plan that includes the launch of a new crowdsourcing application early next year to help describe what the images portray

Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia

History and railroad buffs will appreciate  The Canadian Pacific Railway Collection of digital photographs available from the Vancouver Public Library.  The 1,500 photos date from 1880s to 1950s.

These images provide a fascinating insight into the role of the railway in the development of the province. The pictures portray rural and urban railway stations; railway bridges that are true engineering feats reaching out across the challenging topography of the province; the workers who laid the tracks and manned the locomotives; the passengers who travelled on the railway; and a myriad of buildings, hotels, yards and ships, all of which were part of the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia.