Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Answer: Finding an obscure object of desire

Last week my friend Jean-Paul showed me a truly wonderful video:
... and asked if I could identify the building in the video. (It really is a great piece of work.  Spend at least 30 seconds looking at that video and think to yourself--how would I figure out what building this is?)

Intrigued, I did the simple and obvious query:

That wasn't quite enough.  I then clicked on the videos tab in the left hand panel in order to search over ALL of the videos that Google has indexed (and not just the ones on YouTube).  

After clicking down a couple of pages, the list led me to one that looked like it might be a match: 
BUT the link was dead.  Drat it all. 

All was not lost, however.  I gleaned one piece of information from that snippet… it suggested I should add the term “Ukraine” to my search. 

So I modified my search to be... 

The first result for this search is exactly the same as the original video my friend shared with me.  This video suggests that the building in question is the Kharkiv Regional Administration building in  Kharkov, Ukraine.  A bit more digging reveals that this artistic projection was done in honor of the city and for Independence Day in Ukraine.  

One of the main tenets of good search skills is always double check!  So I did the obvious Google Image search for: 
 [ Kharkiv Regional Administration ]  

And verified that this is the same place.   (esp. the image http://ukrainian.su/en/photogallery/detail/401

Case closed.  

Search lesson: You can pick up clues along the way.  This would have been a difficult search except that I discovered the hint that it was in the Ukraine from that one dead link.  Once I added that term to the search, everything else fell into place.  

Searching on! 


  1. I saw one clue you didn't mention, which was the word "XAPKIB" scrolling slowly across the building at 5:01 to a loud cheer. It was actually Cyrillic, by the top of the K, but I didn't end up having to dig up the correct characters. Starting on XAPKIB in a Google box immediately suggested "XAPKIB 3D" and "XAPKIB video", which led to some copies of the video with more informative captions.

  2. Excellent catch, Marilee! Nice sleuthing work.