Imperial War Museum Photograph Search Engine

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by Drew5233, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Does anyone know if its changed again?

    I've just tried to search for generic Royal Artillery and Royal Engineer images and got a return of around 30,000 images showing a small batch of pictures of the Royal Navy then a hundreds of images not viewable.

    I wish there was an option not to change stuff - I quite liked the old version and found it very easy to find images. I noticed the other day you can't even search for an image using their photo reference.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've just tried to narrow it down and searched Royal Engineers, British Army and got images Royal Air Force Engineers, Royal Navy Engineers and Merchantman Gunners :lol:
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  5. Reid

    Reid Junior Member

    Looks like the search engine isn't set to search by the search parameters fully. Looking at the Applied Filters, it's searching for photographs and ww2 (no further) even though the search contains very specific words to search by.

    We have a running joke on another forum I'm a member of, regarding annoying glitches on our national airline's website: "The work experience kids have been at it again!"

    Looks like the same has happened at IWM - the "wonderful improvements" they've been heralding over the past 6 months, appear to be considerably less than "wonderful" . . . :-P

    I *hate* when they tinker with things that don't need tinkering with, just for the sake of it. If I've learned anything when designing websites, it's "test thoroughly prior to going live". That way you don't annoy your target audience and iron out most of the glitches - the KISS principle works every time.
  6. Reid

    Reid Junior Member

    I think the biggest problem is the actual descriptions - they aren't telling the full story until you click on the image. This search result: royal engineers show's the following description when you view the actual image:

    A Sherman Crab and Royal Engineers in Overloon, 14 October 1944.

    Although that doesn't explain why a wrecked aircraft with absolutely no mention of the Royal Engineers pops up - guess they have it set really high and it might have pulled "engine" from the description?
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    That's my pet hate: having to click on each image to read a Description. Would've been helpful if they'd added at least an image roll-over/text pop-up option.

    Since last discussion on this? I don't think so.
    Imperial War Museum new website format?
  8. Reid

    Reid Junior Member

    Agree 110%.
    Staffsyeoman likes this.
  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    The IWM site is poo on sticks from an interface perspective, but there are such treasures buried there that I tend to perservere.
  10. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Use the Media Format > Image filter so only digitised stuff is displayed.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers all...I'll have a proper look later but I suspect I'll be still as thick tomorrow.
  12. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    My day job is as a database professional including SQL querying so I understand how the backend database is used.

    In this case it looks as if the front end is wild carding the entries. So it takes something like Royal Engineers, British Army will all return all with descriptions that contain the words Royal, Engineers, British, and Army - in any order or location and not as a literal string. If you want to just get back descriptions with Royal Engineers in you need to enter the search as "Royal Engineers". This is search on a literal string - so will only return description that have "Royal Engineers" in - including the space. I just tested this on the IWM website and get 459 photos for WW2 for "Royal Engineers".
    MongoUK and Chris C like this.
  13. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Was about to post and basically paraphrase this.

    Also do the same on TNA catalogue searches to find the specifics.

    Hoping to sneak into Kew whilst on another SQL Server course next month, small world, glad to see other DBA types lurking.
  14. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    If The IWM let us see their complete listings (for example a simple text list of all B Series photos or of every film shot in NWE, Italy etc) then life would be a lot easier. At present you have to know what you are looking for to be able to find it.
    I am sure they have their own text-only 'master lists' so why not just put them online?
    dbf likes this.

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