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Launched 2004
Closed 2012



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Robot: CydralSpider (Source)




Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite



Phil Bradley (2005): Cydral [7] is an engine I have only recently discovered. It had no options on the main search screen other than a family filter, and no help either, which always irritates me. The 'Robert E Lee' search returned a poor 41 images, and several of those were not on topic either. As with most of the other search engines, it did provide both pixel and file size. Confusingly, clicking on the image doesn't work; it's necessary to click on the 'info' button. However, one feature that Cydral does have is the ability to sort your results in terms of similarity. This worked extremely well, so much so that the first three images returned using this facility were exactly the same. Unfortunately it doesn't appear possible to define 'similarity', since I could have wanted pictures of the General returned ordered by photograph, drawing, black and white or colour. However, it's still an extremely useful feature and very helpful, particularly if you are dealing with a lot of images. A final helpful function was a link to a Web search which returned a goodly number of different search suggestions.

The Blair search gave me 362 images, most of which were relevant (though I'm not sure how the Aztec temple image crept in), but most of them were fairly informal photographs - I wouldn't have been able to use any of them on an official biography page for example.

My flowers search was less impressive though. I obtained 5,863 images, and while most of them were what I was expecting I did for the first time get an image that was vaguely pornographic. It's worth pointing out that I ran all the searches on all engines with the family filter turned off, and this was the first time that I got an less than wholesome image.

The search for my abstract term 'internet' was quite frankly awful. Of the 14,440 images most of the early ones were of a roleplay game and there was nothing on the first page that would have been useful if I'd been doing any sort of research.

In many ways, Cydral was a disappointment; it didn't provide a great many images, and the relevance was spotty at best. However, it is worth persevering with, if for no other reason than its ability to resort results by similarity. Having found at least one good image in a search this option did bring me back others further down in the rankings that were exactly the kind of images that I was expecting. It's an extremely interesting function and one that I expect the other major search engines will include before too long. Source




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Created: 2019-01-29