TopFoto Places Images in Historic Context

Posted on 3/5/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Leading U.K. editorial stock-house TopFoto has reinvented image-search by adding a time component. TimeSearch places the agency's collection of images in their historic context, offering clients that need to illustrate an era, an event or other subject matter a fast and easy way to find stock.

Bamber Cascoigne, the former chairman of University Challenge, devised the new engine. Ian Henghes, director of the educational Web site HistoryWorld, handled the design. As opposed to conventional search that requires user-generated textual keywords, TopFoto TimeSearch asks for the year (BC or AD), geographic continent or theme. There are nine broad themes, which cover common subjects, such as art, politics and technology. Each theme has a number of detailed sub-categories for image-researchers who wish to narrow the search. Users can also navigate the library through a center-page timeline, which starts at the Big Bang.

Results can be viewed in headline or extended formats, each accompanied by links to related TopFoto image collections (2 million of TopFoto's 6 million images are currently online). TimeSearch also produces other relevant results; for example, additional information on each event or time period is provided in the form of links to

TopFoto, the recipient of the 2007 BAPLA award for outstanding contribution to the image-licensing industry, describes TimeSearch as an early example of the post-Google generation of online search tools.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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