Thursday 10 July 2008

Oh, go on

One of the things that interests me professionally is serendipity. How can you introduce play into search? How can you help people wade through the depths of your online collection is a way that's so elegant, so lightweight and so satisfying that they're unaware of effort, and only aware of the joy?

I played a while ago with, which lets you build colour palettes out of selected images - the principle is, I think, that a colour image that's easy on the eye can be developed into an appealing colour palette.

This morning though I found Multicolr search lab and it's a whole new ballgame. Using Flickr's API, the tool lets you search nearly 3 million images by colour.

Now imagine that this was laid over an online collection; selecting shades of ochre, black and white would bring up McCahon, while jade and purple would give you Reuben Paterson. I could play with this thing for hours.

Images from top

Screenshot of a search on Multicolr

Colin McCahon,
A grain of wheat, 1970. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Purchased 1978. New Zealand Lottery Grants Board. From the Colin McCahon website.

Reuben Paterson,
Anticipating, 2007. Foil on canvas. From the Gow Langsford website.

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