• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Visual search tools

DiRT (Digital Research Tools) has a new home! Please visit Bamboo DiRT to explore this excellent collection of research tools.


Some search engines display the results of your textual search in a graphical interface.



  • Carrot2: automatically clusterizes search results from various sources into thematic fields: "organizes your search results into topics. With an instant overview of what's available, you will quickly find what you're looking for" (Free, web-based)
  • Casual: lets the user search for concepts or common words and displays the results in a cloud of related terms (Free, web-based)
  • Cluuz: generates search results through spider-like graphs, images and clusters (Free, web-based)
  • Clusty: web search and text clustering engine (see e.g. Shakespeare Searched) (Free, web-based)
  • Constellations: an Exalead Labs experiment that displays a graph of related websites or people (Free, web-based)
  • Cooliris: is a browser add-on which allows the user to display images on a 3D wall; also available for iPhone (Free, Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Evri: allows the user to see the relations connecting people, places and things; "Evri is  a way for content to network–a way for that great article you just read to make meaningful connections with every other contextually relevant article, paper, blog, image, audio clip or video on the web." (Free, web-based)
  • Iboogie: a custom-built metasearch tool which clusterizes results into clearly labelled topics:  "combines metasearch and clustering to deliver and organize search results from multiple sources into structured content. This is done dynamically in real time and presented to a user in a hierarchy of topics (clusters) for browsing and exploring" (Free, web-based)
  • Flokoon: displays the search results issued from Last.fm, YouTube and Fotolia in graphic interactive maps, connects related topics through a series of spiderweb-like graphics (Free, web-based)
  • Gnod: is a recommendation cultural search tool which generates its results in floating tagclouds; "Gnod is my experiment in the field of artificial intelligence. Its a self-adapting system, living on this server and 'talking' to everyone who comes along. Gnods intention is to learn about the outer world and to learn 'understanding' its visitors. This enables gnod to share all its wisdom with you in an intuitive and efficient way. You might call it a search-engine to find things you don't know about." (Free, web-based)
  • Google Wonder Wheel: an interesting option ( available within the "Show options" menu) which presents search results as a mindmap
  • Grokker (site temporarily unavailable): allows the user to view the results based upon Yahoo!, Wikipedia and Amazon in thematic circles, can be deployed specifically in business settings (Free; web-based, with software available)
  • Kartoo (website shut down): a French metasearch tool generating relational web maps based upon the web searcher's queries; utilizes "cartographic interfaces that allow you to quickly find data in searches, in timelines and in specific locations. Our solutions call upon an intuitive and intelligent semantic technology, thereby offering you structured and easy-to-access results." (Free, web-based)
  • KoolTorch: provides a specific graphical interface of circular clusters, with results that are color-coded and spatially dynamic; also provides specific subcategorizations and tracks results in an active interface   (Free, web-based)
  • KwMap: search engine that utilizes a keyword generator with a graphical interface that allows you to navigate from your initial query to results for related topics (Free, web-based)
  • Lexipedia: metadictionary displaying a semantic map of parts of speech related to the word searched (free, web-based)
  • ManagedQ: classifies its results into three categories (person, place, thing) and displays the snapshots of the first six pages on a grid (Free, web-based)
  • Miiget: allows you to search for famous people and connect them to other celebrities pertaining more or less to the same sphere; displays the results in a circular cluster of windows centered around the main query (Free, web-based)
  • Mnemomap: a Flash interactive search tool which shows the results of the query on a dynamic map, which is divided into three sections, to further specify and subcategorize your results (Free, web-based)
  • Mooter: clusterizes its search results using a plain graphical interface (Free, web-based)
  • Navicrawler: a Firefox add-on which allows the user to record their browsing session and export the data in various visual forms such as graphs and spreadsheets (Free; open source, requires Firefox)
  • Nestor: a graphical web browser that generates navigation maps: "While you are searching or exploring the Web, Nestor draws a web map representing the links and documents you're visiting: you can use this map to go back directly to any document you have visited previously (no need to use the "back" or "forward" buttons). The maps provide a visual context so you always know "where you are" and "where you come from"! (Free; Windows, not compatible with Vista)
  • oSkope: a search engine which allows the user to search images and multimedia items found on various services such as Amazon, Flickr, Fotolia, Yahoo!, or YouTube; displays the results on an interactive Flash grid of thumbnails (Free, web-based)
  • Polymeta: a metasearch engine which displays the search results in the form of clusters and images; sorts results according to source, as well as category (Free, web-based)
  • Proxémie: a Java application which displays the lexical relations of a word in a 3-D environment
  • Quintura: a search engine which provides a tagcloud option that allows the web searcher to browse more easily and narrow results by navigating into more specific categories (Free, web-based)
  • RedZ: a 3-D search engine displaying its search results in the form of snapshots of webpages; the user can shuffle through these relatively large snapshots, which are displayed in a Cover Flow fashion (Free, web-based)
  • SearchCrystal: a metasearch tool which makes the search results appear within a circular shape
  • Searchcube: presents the results in an interactive 3-D cube-shaped format; displays 96 thumbnails of search results generated by Google (Free, web-based)
  • Silobreaker: a search engine which aggregates the news from numerous sources and presents the contents in various visualization formats (Free, web-based)
  • Spezify :a Swedish meta-search tool presenting results from diverse sources in a pictorial manner. It displays a random multimedia collage made up of pictures and text clips (Free, web-based, uses Flash technology)
  • Tianamo: an information visualization search engine displaying the contents of search queries in a 3-D landscape where subtopics are presented topographically, as mountains (browser-based, requires Java)
  • TouchGraph Google: a Java application which responds to search queries with a spiderweb of linked websites (Free, web-based)
  • TuneGlue: a music search engine generating mindmaps containing artist names related to the one first queried; networks the related artists in an interactive web (Free, web-based)
  • Ujiko (website shut down): a customizable search tool presenting in the centre of the oval-shaped screen a set of topics related to the query; evolves as the user's queries increase, offering more features and greater adaptability with more searches (Free, web-based)
  • UMLS Visualizer: a Java applet that uses TouchGraph technology: "allows you to browse the ontology up and down for more than one concept at a time" (Free; web-based, requires Java) 

  • Viewzi: a search engine which displays single search results in different visualization formats, such as screenshots, grids, or timelines, through an interactive display (Free, web-based)
  • VisualWiki: an interactive Wikipedia visualization based on gossamer component; organizes search results into a navigable web which not only spins subcategories forward, but also links more specific results to previous threads (Free, web-based)
  • Visual Wikipedia: generates tag clouds and mindmaps derived from Wikipedia's search results
  • Visuwords: a mindmapping linguistic tool; shows the relationships between the queried word and other words in an interactive map, with definitions of all of the resulting words (Free, web-based) [Review]
  • WebClust: a metasearch engine which clusterizes the results in a simple layout, with topical organization in a sidebar (Free, web-based)
  • WebKruz: a visual search engine that allows you to navigate through the results (snapshots of the webpages) of your query automatically (Free, web-based)
  • WikiMindMap: a mindmapping tool which generates maps based upon Wikipedia articles; uses an interactive interface based on a system of nodes and brackets. Maps can be exported into Freemind (Free, web-based)
  • WordVenture: an interactive visualization of the WordNet database which employs the technology and interface of TouchGraph (Free, web-based)





See Also: 

Comments (1)

Mrs. Corrieri said

at 6:53 am on Jun 17, 2009

Great resource- thank you for sharing. I also wanted to mention that you check out Lexipedia (http://www.lexipedia.com/) which is much like Visuwords. anne marie

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