Susan Kistler on the Amazing Multicolor Search Engine (you gotta try this!)

I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director and usual aea365 Saturday contributor. But, you say, “it isn’t Saturday Susan, what are you doing here?” “Well,” says I, “there was a last minute cancellation so I’m stepping in to share a surprisingly addictive tool to help as you are on the hunt for pictures for your amazing Evaluation 2012 presentation (or for any other reporting that might come your way).”

Rad Resource – MulticolorEngine: Back in May of 2010, I wrote on aea365 about great sites for free photos –  In it I mentioned the treasure trove that is Flickr Creative Commons, while lamenting that it can be “like a needle in a haystack” trying to find the perfect photo among the millions of possibilities there.  Sometimes, I am looking for as much a color scheme as a picture – I’m trying to fill a background or convey a concept, or just match the AEA color scheme.

MulticolorEngine searches over 10,000,000 photos available on Flickr with Creative Commons licensing. It allows you to choose up to five colors from the color palette (and these colors can be refined) and then use a slider to indicate the rough percentage of each color present in the pictures you want to see. Here’s an example:

Seeing it in this static form does not do it justice – give it a try. Fun? Yes. Useful? Yes. Beautiful

Rad Resource – Guidance on Image Searching by Topic: Stephanie Evergreen wrote about how to use the advance settings in Google image search on her blog here – super helpful advice for finding just the right photo by topic. Now, if only the two could be combined. While Google Image Search does allow for searching by a single dominant color, it doesn’t have the multicolor option and refinement capacity of the Multicolor Engine.

Rad Resource – p2i Tools: Want more guidance on making your presentations the best that they can be? Check out the tools for AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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