Jan 24, 2014

Unfathomable data: are you still scratching the surface?

Take for instance images!

If you have reached at the end of Google image search page, while looking for a random object or word like say "chair" and if you think this is it, here we are staring at the last image of  chair in world ever uploaded online and you start having this feeling that lets change the key word to "modern chair" and next  changing it to "modern designer chair" ; probably you are going in the wrong direction, probably you are approaching it too casually.  Online research is a  serious business whether its data or image. Its far easier to get lost or get disorientated in the   convoluted maze of online data while it needs a serious approach and focused objective to reach where you want to.

Just to get the hint of quantum of information that is floating out there freely online, if you are searching for any image for instance on Google you might get few hundred results now if you search using each of those images using this option called "search by image" you will get another few hundred distinct results for each original image now if you use a  combination of "search by image" and "text" -any text of your choice - you will get another thousand results now if you keep changing the text or combination of text you will keep getting different new results even if you don't change the image used in "search by image". Easy, we are not done yet. Now if you keep changing the "choice of  color" offered  by Google search results you will keep getting further unique results. Other option of image search is to use "random" text along with "text of your choice". 

Now another way is to search for photographs instead of images. Are they any different? Yes, and we are not even talking about twitter or instagram photograph;we are talking about photograph search through Google. Millions of photographs out there, all you have to do is to search for your  choice of text or subject with the several dozens extension names by which different brands of cameras save their files.

True, while still looking for chair, you might not get only "chair" in your search results if you search using above methods but possibility is that you might come across things in course of your search which will inspire you to the core and which might give a whole new direction and meaning to your research, which you can call accidental learning. We haven't  talked about ever flowing ever growing image database of flicker, twitter or instagram even. We haven't talked about text search yet.  

Its not just about research, its about the real fun part of it. Just take a dip in the unfathomable ocean of data its addictive. Be a smart netizen.


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