500px today announced a new tool called Splash. Instead of searching for photos using titles, keywords, EXIF details, or colors, Splash lets you hunt for photos simply by sketching them on a canvas.
The powerful took has a minimalist interface that contains a brush size selector, a color selector, a “clear” button, and a canvas. Draw something onto the canvas, and the photo results below immediately update to show photos that are visually similar to your sketch.
We tested the system by drawing a thick blue line across the frame:
The photo results instantly updated to show blue photos featuring the sea and sky:
We then painted an even thicker green stroke across the canvas:
The results show lush green landscapes:
But the system can do way more than simple lines and colors. More complex drawings produce impressive results. Here are some official screenshots/illustrations:
What’s neat about the system is that the results will continually update as you continue to add more details to your sketch. You can also filter the results by major categories: landscapes, animals, people, travel, and city.
You can play around with Splash for yourself here. It’s current in beta and searches through photos that are available for licensing on 500px.