Friday, April 30, 2010

Answer: How to find faces of people

The big problem here is to limit your search to just content that you care about. 


To start with... You might try searching just on Syrian websites.  The simplest way to do this is to limit your search results JUST to .SY   (which is the top-level domain for Syria).  


For example, the query:  [ woman site:.sy ] will find web pages that use the word "woman" only on Syrian websites.  

However... you might like to search Syrian websites in Arabic, since that's the language there.  So you might try going to Google Translate and convert the word "woman" into Arabic, which Google Translate says is:  امرأة

So... now try this search:  [ امرأة  site:.sy ]  -- which will look for pictures of women ONLY from Syria web sites.  Of course, many of the websites in Syria have celebrities and such, so this isn't a great way to sample for Syrian women, per se. 

SO... maybe you'd like to just look on Syrian newspapers.  I found a list of Syrian newspapers (http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/syria.htm) by doing the fairly obvious search for [ Syrian newspapers ] and so now we can combine the SITE: trick with this list of newspapers.  Example:  site:syria-news.com

The query is now... [ امرأة  site:.syria-news.com ]  

And if you do this search in Images, and then click on the Advanced Search tab, you can filter by the Faces option... and that will give you a good number of faces of Syrian women.  





And of course... Another approach would be to search over image collections--think about doing a search like [ Syria OR syrian woman OR women ] on Flickr.com or PicasaWeb.com or NYTimes.com.  


The key point here is that you should be thinking in the mind set of those who are creating the results you want.  And that's why you might want to search in Arabic.  


Another idea to keep in mind is how and why to scope a search (for example, by using SITE: to limit your search to just a particular newspaper site).  Newspapers often have photos of faces and people that might just be what you're looking for.  (Or not.. but if you can limit your search to collections of things you care about, this might be just the ticket.) 


Search on! 









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