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Screenshot of Zanran homepage
Zanran data search engine

Zanran is a search engine for data and statistics.[1][2] Zanran’s focus is on finding graphs, charts and tables on the Internet, which distinguishes it from other search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.[3][4] Unlike a typical search engine, the results—graphs, tables, etc.—can be previewed by mouse-hovering over the thumbnails.[3][5]


In 2006, the founders, Dr Yves Dassas and Jon Goldhill, started developing the technology that makes Zanran possible.[2] A limited beta ran, starting in November 2010. The service was launched as a public beta version in May 2011.[6][7][3]


Zanran has developed two technologies specifically for this application:

  1. Image ‘classification’ is the ability for a computer to decide whether an image is a graph, a pie-chart etc. as opposed to a photograph or a cartoon. The Zanran algorithms work to over 95% accuracy. This is important because most images on the web are not graphs and otherwise there would be a large number of false positives.
  2. Text extraction is the process of taking the most appropriate text to describe the graph. This contrasts with a normal search engine where an entire HTML page might be included.

These processes are the subject of Zanran’s UK patent.[8] The image processing in particular takes a great deal of computing power. Zanran runs on the Amazon cloud, and uses hundreds of machines at a time.

The service is English-language only as of December 2011.

The company[edit]

Zanran Ltd is based in London, UK. It was financed by the founders prior to a private angel investment round in March 2010.

Other data-search on the Internet[edit]

Other specialists in the data-search space include WolframAlpha, Infochimps, and Timetric.


  1. ^ Chartier, Mathieu (May 26, 2011). "Zanran, search engine data and statistics" (in French). Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Bekkaoui, Selma (May 25, 2011). "Zanran, the new search engine data is available in beta!" (in French). Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Marron, Donald (May 16, 2011). "Will Zanran be the Google for data?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  4. ^ [1] Matt McGee SearchEngineLand, 12 May 2011
  5. ^ [2] Matthew Hurst, Data Mining Blog, 25 May 2011
  6. ^ "Zanran is a new data search engine". Ellie Kesselman's weblog. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  7. ^ [3] Phil Bradley's weblog, 24 May 2011
  8. ^ [4] UK patent number GB2457267

External links[edit]