Friday, December 25, 2009

Some questions about uploaded images

We are asked by a couple of people if uploaded images are added to search index automatically. No. Images uploaded to GazoPa are not added to the search index, nor are they made accessible by other users automatically, unless users expressly choose to publish their photos and drawings. We added this clause in our FAQ.

Users can publish their drawings when they choose to do it. These drawings can be accessed by other users so that users can share nice search results with others.

We also received questions about rights of uploaded images from designers during our private beta. Some designers stated that our terms of service did not warrant their rights who upload their designed logo to check whether there is similar one or not. We reviewed our terms of service and clearly stated the rights of users here.

"3. User Content. User retains all copyrights and any other rights User already holds in Content which User submits, posts or displays on or through, GazoPa."

If there is any question about our service, please feel free to contact us contact (at)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Tip for better search results

Our current service may not always satisfy all users at the first query. Human eyes are very sophisticated systems and it's a tough job for computer vision to catch up with them. Here are tips when you encounter search results you don't expect.

1. What you can do
1) Search Option
Try search options ; shape, layout and color.
2) Face Search
At current user interface, face search are not active at the first query. If you want to find same or similar faces, set 'face' option.
3) Combined Search
Enter any keywords so that combined search, image plus keyword search, works.

2. What we can do

1) Increase database
We think the more image data we have, the better results we can return. Our search is based on similarity, so results are affected by the size of the database. I experience the results from 10 million images are much better than that from one million images. We're continuously crawling the web and the searchable data is increasing. Try our service after some interval.

2) Limit types of query
Since our database consists of various images from the web and our algorithm purely rely on color and shape, different types of images are displayed as similar results. If type of database and queries are same, more relevant results can be returned. We're preparing new service that has specific database and I think search results would be more close to what you are expecting.

3) Improve image recognition
It's ideal to develop algorithm that can detect everything in images. I don't know how many years, decade and centuries are required to make it come true, but technology is moving forward.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

How many images on the web?

How many images are there on the web? No one knows exact figure. I have some data from photo sharing service as follows. Not all images on photo sharing services can be searchable, because some images are not open to public. Considering other photo sharing service such as Picasa and TwitPic and other sites that have images related news, shopping and travel etc, it may be said that four or five billion images are newly added to the web at least.

facebook 15 billion 220 million new photo per week May, 2009
flickr 4 billion 100 million new photo per month Oct, 2009
photobucket 7.5 billion June, 2009

Some images are piqued other people's curiosity such as images of Michael Jackson and Hudson river plane crash etc. Some images are too personal to be interested by general people. Photos of parties grab its participants' attention only, unless celebrities attend them. Obviously, the number of searchable images are important, but navigating users to their interested images are crucial as well. Some users are willing to see images related to shopping. Other users are eager to find images about latest news. Each user has different interest and we need to satisfy these variety of interests.

Current is for general purpose use and is trying to satisfy as many types of people as possible. That's why we have filter options like news tab, video tab and flickr tab. It aims to be one stop solution to users. But we also think there should be specific type of sites that suit for specific demand. Besides improving functionalities of, we're building special sites for specific needs. It'll be released at the beginning of next year. Stay tuned!

Why is it called GazoPa?

When people heard our name 'GazoPa', some responded that it was weird. Maybe. It may sound weird for people other than Japanese. We are also asked often meaning of GazoPa during conferences, so I'd like to tell you why it's called GazoPa. GazoPa comes from Japanese as you may know and Gazo means pictures and Pa is a mimetic word that describes speed of action. So, GazoPa means pictures are displayed quickly. Speed of search is one of major characteristics of our service and our name shows this feature, although only Japanese can understand background of our name. Our intention to help users to find pictures in fast speed is implied in this name.

When people heard name of new service especially in the field of Web2.0, it always sounds weird, because major name are already registered or major domain names are taken by other people, so new service needs to avoid existed ones. Besides this, shorter names such as five or six characters are preferred in Web2.0, considering the number of keys users need to type. Simple names are already taken, so new names are made from a couple of words.

When people hear the current major Web2.0 services at the first time several years ago, it might sound weird as well. But when services are getting popular, no one say these names are weird, because these names are commonly used and people get accustomed to them. So, only history will prove if name is really weird or not.

Friday, November 27, 2009

One month has passed

One month has passed since our launch of open beta. We had more than 40 thousands registered users at private beta stage. But much bigger number of users accessed our site during one month. We're very happy to know that our new way of searches such as search by upload image and by drawing has been tried by many new users. Thank you for honest and constructive feedback.

Some features did not work at the commencement of open beta, but latest flickr photos with creative commons licenses are already searchable. Our plugin was public at Mozilla Adds-on
as well and downloadable here.

Nice search results have been listed here. It enables users to enjoy similar search without uploading images and drawing pictures.

It's regret that our iPhone app still requires ID and PW entry. We're in a process of eliminating this.

We experienced a great first step and hope users continuous support.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Get started

Uploading an image and drawing a picture is a typical start of our search. But there are many other things that you can do without preparing an image and a drawing.

1. Plugin
You can search for images by using images on other website. Right click on images and click 'Search image on GazoPa'. Plugin can be downloaded from our site or Mozilla site.

2. See flickr and news images
You can see latest flickr images that have creative commons or Flickr commons. Click 'Flickr' on the header of page. Set search option as 'today'. Images that are uploaded to flickr within 24hours are displayed. You can see latest news images as well when you click 'News' and set a time filter. But a time filter may not work well and very few images might be shown. Try it later.

3. See nice search results
Click 'more' on the top page of pickup photos. Lots of nice search results are listed. Click any of links and you can see nice search results.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Congratulations! Winner of iPod Touch is ...

Thank you for applying to Tweet with GazoPa Win an iPod touch!. Our team checked all applications and voted to tweets that we liked. Since there were lots of nice and impressive tweets, our votes were divided and we could not select the winner at one time. So we voted to short list again.

Finally, we selected one tweet that all our team members liked.
Winner is this tweet 'I do similar search to try to find the purse...for my mom. @GazoPa iPod.'

Congratulations! You won iPod touch 32 GB. Since we do not know your email address and mail address, please contact us at contact (at) If there is no response within one week, your right to get iPod touch will be extinguished and the right will be transferred to second candidate.

Thank you again for joining our campaign and enjoy our service.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

GazoPa Image Collection

You can also follow this on Twitter.
If you get nice search results, please let us know contact (at)

Remark : Search results may vary when our database is updated.


Show your hand.

Super jump!
Support the moon.
Coffee shop?
How old are you?
I want you ...
Surfing on the head
crane one's neck
Surfin' U.S.A.
I won!
I love ....
Your eyes only.
Don't stare at me.
Where do you want to go?
Good Job!
Shake hands!

Public Figures

Sarah Palin
Isaac Newton
Galileo Galile
William Shakespeare
Sean Connery
Lincoln & Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin
George Washington
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Albert Einstein


Golden Proportion

Girl with a Perl Earring?
Are you Mona Lisa?
This is Vermeer.


Sun and snow
Cascading veils
Earth in hands
One cannot teach a fish to swim.
a bolt from the blue
Beautiful sky
Full moon
Half moon
Who is in the picure?
Drawn by the earth
the largest planet
Butterfly effect?
Can you hear waterfalls?
Sunset 2
in the water


No rose without a thorn.
Do you know my name?


Birds of a feather flock together.
Panda family
The early bird catches the worm.


Gozan no Okuribi
Japanese Castles
Moab, Utah
Ayers Rock
Schloss Neuschwanstein
Golden Gate Bridge
Ruinas de Sao Paulo
Itsukushima Shrine
Machu Picchu
Taj Mahal
Westminster Abbey
Asian tower
This is the world.
Temple of Heaven
This is Africa.
This is Italy.
This is UK.
This is USA.
Eiffel Tower?


Fighting for a ball
Ping pong
So heavy.


Do your nails to a nail.
Classic car
Give me a pose!
Der Kongress tanzt
the world in red
It's an ill wind that blows nobody good.
A rolling stone plays a guitar.
Never up, never in!
New fish?
Jump, shoot, run ...
Victory waits on your fingers
The wind changes as often as women.
Anonymous people
Hold the earth
Turn and jump.
Sign here, please.
Fly together
Fly into flying
Gate to the other world
Life and death are the two faces of the same coin.
No, Non, Het
Eco drive?
The Strawberry Statement
Woman, like a shadow, flies one following and pursues one fleeing.
Order! Order!
Cheering fan
Which train do you take?
vertical stripes
Night scene
How big it is?
Win gold.
Are you ready?
Kiss you.
Is it 10:10?
Are you hungry?
Where are you going?
Go for a drive?
I'm also flying.
We're the flying guru.
Can you see this?
Up and down

Search by your drawing

moon or banana?
simple car
luxury car?


G a z o P a

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Media Coverage

New Fashion Search Engine Useful for Clothing Manufacturers and Buyers Jan20, 2011
Gazopa Adds Stock Photos To Image Search Engine
Search Engine Land Jan18, 2011
A New Way to Search Stock Photos by GazoPa
My Stock Photography Jan17, 2011
"GazoPa" Silicon Valley Interview with Hitachi
Bruin TV Nov, 2010
Using images, rather than words, when searching to buy
internetRETAILER Aug25, 2010
The 5 Most Advanced Search Engines On The Web June22, 2010
Gazopa – search for images by similarity or keywords Mar12, 2010
Gazopa: A Search Engine To Find Similar Images on the Web
Techie Buzz Jan19, 2010
Similar image search engine GazoPa – The most fun I’ve had in a long time… Jan19, 2010
How to Perform Better Image Searches with GazoPa
MakeTechEasier Nov26, 2009
Find Similar Images with GazoPa (Beta)
ResourceShelf Nov19, 2009
GazoPa: Similar Image Search Engine
digitalbuzz Nov15, 2009
Cool Websites and Tools Nov10, 2009
Want to find your doppelganger? Hitachi's similar image search engine is now open to the public.
GazoPa (in Chinese)
Computer Play (in Chinese) Nov7, 2009
GazoPa il motore di ricerca per comparare immagini (in Italian)
WIRED IT Nov6, 2009
Interview with Gazopa Personnel
The Storage Muse Nov5, 2009
GazoPa (in Thai)
CBIZ Review Oct30, 2009
Google’s At It Again: Releases Diluted Challenger to GazoPa
Marketing Pilgrim Oct28, 2009
GazoPa: Search Images By Similarity
Searching Similar Images Gazopa Launched Video Review
GazoPa Finds Images Similar to Uploads, Links, or Drawings
lifehacker Oct27, 2009
Similar Image Search Engine GazoPa Opens to Public Beta Testing Oct27, 2009
Gazopa Similar Image Search Enters Open Beta
Search Engine Journal Oct27, 2009
Similar Image Search Engine Gazopa Enters Open Beta
Wasingtonpost Oct27, 2009
Similar Image Search Engine Gazopa Enters Open Beta
TechCrunch Oct27, 2009
Want to search for your look-alike?
VentureBeat Apr14, 2009
12 Promising New Web Sites and Services
PCWorld Sep12, 2008
TC50: Gazopa Searches for Images Similar To Other Images
TechCrunch Sep10, 2008

Twitter New Account : GazoPafunny

As private beta test users may remember, there was a page that users could publish their search results by drawing and other users could review these results by stars up to five. We could enjoy other users' fantastic results by their darwing. In open beta, users can publish their search results by drawing to Twitter and Facebook, but there is no one stop page that shows users all published works.

Twitter is a live stream and if you cannot catch tweets luckily, these tweets will buried in tons of new tweets. It's regret that wonderful search results cannot be found by other users. So, we created a new Twitter account GazoPafunny. When we find a nice search results by drawing and by image, we retweet them in our new account so that other users can browse them. No need to search Twitter stream by @GazoPa or GazoPa. Just access GazoPafunny and nice search results are waiting for you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Search Results by Your Drawing can be posted to Twitter and Facebook

Search by drawing is a wonderful feature and now you can post search results by your drawing to Twitter and Facebook. Sign in before starting drawing a picture. Upload your drawing and click 'Publish'. You can see 'post to Twitter' and 'post to Facebook'. Click them and your search results by drawing is posted to Twitter or Facebook.

Users who have joined in private beta test might remember the ranking page of search by drawing. There is no ranking feature in current system, but your search results can be shared with others and would be retweeted.

You can also apply for 'Tweet with us Win an iPod touch campaign' with your search results by drawing. Try search by drawing and publish your results!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tweet with GazoPa Win an iPod touch!

: This campaign is finished. See detail of results here.

Thank you for your access to that has been released open beta on Oct27. In order to celebrate our open beta, we decided to give users an opportunity to win an iPod touch. It’s very simple. Tweet the reason why you do similar image search or tweet your nice and funny search results. Nice tweets will be retweeted at @GazoPa and best one will win iPod touch! You can tweet as many times as you want. The number of ReTweet would be one of criteria for selection, but it’s not the only one criterion. Make sure all your tweets contain @Gazopa iPod.

There's two ways to enter:

1. Come up with your unique and creative phrase.

I do similar image search b'coz ........ @GazoPa iPod
I do similar image search when ........ @GazoPa iPod 

For example,
I do similar image search b'coz I want to find similar products @GazoPa iPod
I do similar image search when I want to find image for my blog @GazoPa iPod 

2. Tweet your nice and funny search results.

(New)Search by your drawing : Visit GazoPa site. Sign in before starting drawing a picture. Upload your drawing and click 'publish'. Click 'post to Twitter' and your search results by your drawing is published to Twitter.

For example (Search by Drawing),

Visit GazoPa site and do similar search. There's a 'post to Twitter' link at the right side of search query. Click it and post your nice and funny search results to Twitter.

For example (Search by image),
Wow, check it out! @GazoPa iPod

Tweet your nice phrase and search results by Nov15 24:00 Pacific Standard Time and get an iPod touch 32GB!
Wait for your great tweet!

Update : 23:45 PST Nov4. Now you can publish search results by your drawing to Twitter. Please sign in before starting drawing a picture. Draw a picture and upload it. Click 'Publish' and 'post to Twitter'. Your search results by drawing is published. Try search by Drawing!
: (Important) You can post search results to your Twitter account when your search query is an image from our database. When uploaded image and your drawing is a search query, search results that posted to your twitter account would not be visible from others.

We really love this video. Do you need a feature to post your search results by your drawing to your Twitter account?

Update : (Tips) You can select your search query from our database at random. Click 'Tools' at the top page and click 'Shuffle'. Images would be displayed at random and you can choose your query from these images.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Video of Search by Plugin

Here’s a new video of Search by Plugin. Actually, the feature of Plugin has not remained unchanged. But since the link to Plugin download page is not easy to be found, i.e. you can find it after clicking ‘Tool’ tab, although there is a link to Plugin at the bottom of page as well. We made this video for user’s better understanding of the location of Plugin link page.

Right-click on any image at other websites and similar images can be found at our site. It’s very intuitive way of searching images. Try it now!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yes, you can do image plus keyword search

We received some questions that ‘Hey, you guys, can I use keyword to filter results after using an image? ’ Of course, you can! To search for images by using image and drawing is a unique feature of our image search, but some results may not include users’ desired images and keyword could be a useful search option. Keyword box is located at the right side of search results page. Enter keywords and images are filtered by image plus keyword.

Yes, keyword box is actually located at the right side of image query area. But users still asked us whether image plus keyword search is available. This is an eye-opening feedback from users. This means current user interface may not be an intuitive one andwe need to review it to make UI more natural and useful.

Search by image plus keyword is a new type of search and users may not get accustomed to it yet. If so, it’s a matter of time and less and less question about search by image plus keyword would reach us. But there is also possibility that current UI may not be intuitive. We’ll continuously review it based on feedback from users.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To upload image or not to upload it, that is the question.

Search by uploaded image is one of unique features for gazopa. From search engine provider’s point of view, whether or not to accept uploaded image as a search key is a big issue. If I use a metaphor of baseball to describe these differences, to accept uploaded image is that a batter does not know what kind of ball the pitcher throw, a ball of baseball or a ball of football or a ball of valley ball etc. The batter needs to hit a ball even though a ball is not for baseball. On the contrary, using an indexed image with metadata as a search key rather than using uploaded image is that a batter understands a sign of catcher to pitcher and hits a ball. I think you understand how difficult it is to process uploaded image as a search key from this metaphor.

After reading untl this line, you may say ‘Oh Boys, I don’t care how your technology is better than others and I don’t want to hear about difficult thing your technology is doing. I only care what I can experience from it.’ Yes, you are right. You can enjoy iPod and iPhone even though you don’t know what technologies are used in these gadgets. User experience and whole system that support these experiences is important.

But if you think about cell phone, our strong point sounds more and more meaningful. As you feel in daily life, entering keyword may not be a comfortable experience. Are there any way that can simplify this user interface? Yes, here is the answer. Each cell phone has a camera these days. Imagine, if you just take a picture and use it as a search key, how simple it is? But to take a picture is not enough for starting searches. You need to upload your image from your cell phone. To upload image becomes a critical point now. I think you understand how wonderful feature search by upload is. It’s very intuitive and natural way to use your image as a search key. It’s not a story of technology. It’s a new experience that technology can bring to you.