Flickr builds powerful photo search engine in major redesign

Flickr unveiled an impressive new search function today that aims to make digging through the site's 10 billion or so photos far less of a chore. The unified search results page now includes sections for your own photostream as well as those of people you follow and the rest of the community. A slick new thumbnail view let's you quickly scan through all those results. Users can also filter results by color, size or orientation as well as by specific holidays or events, like graduations or Thanksgiving. The engine itself has also received an upgrade. Its improved search algorithms can reportedly suss out contextual intent from your query. That way, a recent Flickr Blog post explains, "Search for 'London Eye' and you'll no longer get photos of eyes in England, but find the giant Ferris wheel." Even more impressive, the site now offers an auto-tagging option that utilizes the company's image recognition software. Seems the only thing the new search functions can't do is make you a better photographer.