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Viewzi: Not Just Another Search Engine Using Flash

Posted by Sravan | June 20, 2008 .

There have been many search engines built using Flash coming up. These are a wonderful way to search when you have time to kill, or when you are bored with the unaesthetic list of links returned by the usual biggies, or when you have no clue about what you’re searching and thus need to check many pages.

SearchMe returns an album of screenshots of its search results along with the usual list. KartOO returns a nice map cloud. oSkope returns an album of thumbnails within webpages, but is restricted by the few websites that it gets its results from. It is, nevertheless, an effective way to search Flickr or Amazon.

Viewzi takes visual search to a whole new level. It is like a collection of various visual search engines, with currently 14 different views to choose from.

E.g. A search for “Firefox 3″ in TechCrunch View looks like this:

Viewzi TechCruch Firefox 3

Apart from the views their designers bring in the future, the company plans to release an API which allows other developers to create their own views, and eventually a “View Maker” to allow anyone to create views. (Financial rewards, perhaps revenue sharing, is possible.) Like they say, “It’s all about views.”

Upon entering a search term, Viewzi uses publicly available APIs and other data sources (no crawling the web), determines the order of views based on the content (relevant view first), and presents the results with a cool UI.

However, their results are sometimes irrelevant. What is Heather Mills doing in a Celebrity Photo View of “Nicole Kidman”? (Happy birthday, Ms. Kidman.)

Viewzi Celebrity Photo View Nicole Kidman

Another problem peeving users is that after the first search, the ‘Search’ button is no longer the right one; the ‘View Mix’ is. Because, after a first search, the selected view is applied by default to all later searches. Thankfully, they are willing to rectify this trivial problem. In the coming future, there is also a possibility of a drop down list of all available views to choose your visual search from.

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