Picsearch

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Picsearch
Type Private
Industry Search Engine, Streaming Video
Founded Stockholm, Sweden (2000)
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Products image search, Online Video Platform
Website www.picsearch.com Screen9 - Online Video Platform

Picsearch is a Swedish company which develops and provides image search services for large websites. The image search services developed and provided by Picsearch power several major Internet companies, such as Lycos.[1] Other Picsearch customers include regional search portals in Germany,[2] Turkey[3] and an Arabic language portal.[4] Customers outside the sphere of search portals include telecoms, entertainment sites, e-commerce,[5] sport websites, yellow pages and communities.[6]

Picsearch also develops and provides an Online Video Platform under the brand name Screen9 which is used for video communities, vlogging (video blog), video reviews on e-commerce sites, corporate video presentations, news videos and virtual showings on real estate portals.[7] Picsearch video streaming service includes flash player, upload, transcoding, hosting and streaming. Some features of the service are flexible quality (bitrate, resolution, codec), user interaction (action buttons, ad support, rating etc.) and branding possibilities (logotype, off-site embedding, player branding, mobile support etc.).[8][9]

History[edit]

Picsearch was developed and founded in the year, 1999-2000, at Linköping University by two engineering students Nils Andersson and Robert Risberg, who were working on their Master of Science in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering. Their goal was to improve relevancy, create a larger index, and to introduce family-friendly and spam filtered results. The company was launched in 2000, and the first public version of the image search engine was available in September 2001, around the same time that Google launched its services.[10][11] Ditto.com was the first public image search engine.[12]

Features[edit]

The Picsearch service is slightly more expensive than Google and Yahoo, but according to many of its licensing partners, provides a higher relevance[6][13][14][15] and better family-friendliness.[3][4][16][17][18]

Coverage[edit]

Picsearch is notable for providing one of the largest searchable indexes, providing over 2 billion images. This compares with Google (2.2 billion images) and Yahoo (1.6 billion images).[19]

Family-Friendliness[edit]

Family-friendliness implies that all sexual nudity, pornography and violence is removed by an automatic filter. Picsearch also offers an image removal service for those wanting their images removed.

Localization[edit]

Picsearch services include localization features to tailor the search service to regional markets.[20][21]

Language Support[edit]

Picsearch currently supports the following languages: Latin alphabet, Chinese characters, Cyrillic script, Arabic alphabet, Indic scripts (Brahmic family), Hangul, Greek alphabet and Hebrew Alphabet.

Environmental policy[edit]

On the 22nd of March 2007, Picsearch implemented a new environmental policy[22] making them the first carbon neutral search engine in the world.[23] The Picsearch initiative was followed by promises from Yahoo in April and Google in June to go carbon neutral by the end of 2007.[24]

The policy consists of four steps:

  1. Picsearch plants 1000 new trees for every gigawatt-hour consumed.
  2. Picsearch buys and holds in trust 2 acres (8,100 m2) of old growth forest for every gigawatt-hour consumed.
  3. Picsearch only uses electricity that is carbon free and follows the highest standard of production.
  4. Picsearch buys carbon credits equivalent to all the energy that Picsearch consumes.[25]

Censoring child pornography[edit]

In July 2007 the Swedish National Criminal Police started working with Picsearch to incorporate a special filter, which will block the visibility of 4000 websites with commercial child pornography. Introducing the filter on Picsearch and other search services, the police authorities are trying to make it more difficult for users to find child pornography.[26][27] The initiative has sparked some discussion in Sweden and Japan as to whether or not the police authorities are extending their powers, whether the filter threatens freedom of speech, and whether the real reason for introducing the filter is to establish a precedent for denying access to other information as well.[28]

Development and patents[edit]

Picsearch has developed all of its search service in-house, including spidering of the Web, indexing of image, video, and audio files, and an efficient way of distributing the results to users from all parts of the world. Picsearch’s algorithms are patented in Sweden and patent-pending in the EU and the United States.[29][30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Picsearch enters alliance with Lycos, Inc., Picsearch. May 2, 2005. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  2. ^ WEB.DE chooses Picsearch to power image search. Picsearch. November 9, 2006. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Turkish portal joins hands with Picsearch. Turkish Daily News. June 11, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Maktoob chooses Picsearch to power image search. Picsearch. January 17, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  5. ^ 1.7 Billion Images on Price Comparison Site. Picsearch. June 29, 2006. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Picsearch provides image search to community-powered search engines - Swickis. Picsearch. June 13, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  7. ^ Picsearch powers video for Europes largest real estate company. Picsearch. November 26, 2007. Retrieved on December 3, 2007.
  8. ^ Tysk miljonaffär till svenska Picsearch. IDG. November 28, 2007. Retrieved on December 3, 2007.
  9. ^ Bostäder visas med webbteve. Dagens Nyheter. November 28, 2007. Retrieved on December 3, 2007.
  10. ^ Picsearch Image Search. Internet Archive WaybackMachine . September 23, 2001. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  11. ^ Google Image Search Beta. Internet Archive WaybackMachine . June 16, 2001. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  12. ^ Ditto Image Search. Internet Archive WaybackMachine . March 1, 2000. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  13. ^ Swedish Companies Show There's More to Search Engines Than Meets the Eye. IT Sweden. June 2, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  14. ^ Getting hitched - TWERQ and Picsearch. AltSearchEngine. June 20, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  15. ^ Swedish image search engine powers Canadian Twerq. Picsearch. June 20, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  16. ^ The leading Turkish portal launches multimedia search using Picsearch. Picsearch. June 5, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  17. ^ ilse chooses Picsearch to power image search. Picsearch. October 31, 2006. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  18. ^ "Image search Engine". Frompo.com. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Google Posts New Total Size Number for Google Images. SearchEngineWatch. August 9, 2005. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  20. ^ Czech Republic's most popular site launches image search using Picsearch. Picsearch. April 26, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  21. ^ Eniro chooses Picsearch to power image search. Picsearch. October 3, 2006. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  22. ^ The world’s first carbon free search engine, Picsearch. March 22, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  23. ^ Not so cool, The Times. March 31, 2007, Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  24. ^ Google jumps into green arena, International Herald Tribune. June 19, 2007, Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  25. ^ The world’s first search engine, Picsearch. March 22, 2007. Retrieved on July 11, 2007.
  26. ^ Police turn to web search in child porn fight. The Local. June 12, 2007. Retrieved on July 16, 2007.
  27. ^ Sökmotor hjälper Polisen spärra internetsidor. Swedish National Criminal Police. June 12, 2007. Retrieved on July 16, 2007.
  28. ^ Blogging about Picsearch. Technorati. June 12–15, 2007. Retrieved on July 16, 2007.
  29. ^ "US2006190445 Indexing of Digitized Entities". US Patent & Trademark Office. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  30. ^ "US2006190445 Indexing of Digitized Entities". European Patent Office. 2006-08-24. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 

External links[edit]