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FlySail2015
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Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:59 am

Complexity/Confusion with Photo Search

Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:47 am

Hi all,

So I tried a search, but it seemed like several of the returns that populated were all of the same thing popping up over and over again, and it did not answer my questions. So my apologies if this is being discussed elsewhere...

Anyway, I had a few questions about the operation of the photo search page that have been bugging me since the redesign.. after months of thinking I'd figure it out and learn the ways of the new site, I am still clueless. I almost have no idea how to search for anything anymore (ok, it's not that bad, but darn is it annoying and NOT user-friendly):

1a) How can I be sure I'm getting all the photos I'm interested in now that there are so many different variations in the bank of what is, in reality, the same airplane or airline? For example, if I start typing in "C-17," both "Boeing C-17" and "McDonnell Douglas C-17" come up as options. Are some photos classified as Boeings and some as MDs? Or do they all get combined in a way that it doesn't matter what I search? If it doesn't matter, then why are both in the menu?

1b) On a similar note, when I type in "US Airways Express," the two following variants pop up: "US Airways Express" and "Mesa Airlines US Airways Express." Why is that distinction there? There are several US Airways Express carriers; why is only Mesa being distinguished? A similar issue exists with Delta Connection too.

1c) If I were to embark on a search for American Airlines, I would start by typing the word "American." As I do this, I see I can choose "American" or "American Airlines"... but "American" returns no results. Sooo why is it there? (no other search criteria specified)

2) Why will the fields let you select multiple aircraft types or airline types, but never yield a result when multiple are selected? For example, I was under the impression that selecting "Delta Air Lines" and "JetBlue Airways" would give me a search result of all the database's photos of both Delta and JetBlue airplanes. But instead, I get a "Sorry, no hits!" message. (no other search criteria specified)

3) What on earth is the difference between "Basic Type" and "Generic Type," and between "Manufacturer" and "Builder"?

4) It seems like the Basic Search is too basic (no place to even choose an airline or aircraft type), and the Advanced Search is way too advanced (5 different ways of aircraft identifications.. tail numbers I understand, but how often does someone search for the msn of an aircraft? And what's the difference between "Reg" and "Reg [P]"? Isn't this a tad overkill

5) For all of the reasons mentioned above, is there any hope of bringing back the dropdown menus of the old site? That was so much simpler to use. Just click on the title of the airplane/aircraft/airport you want... no need for trial and error of free-typing every possible way something could be categorized... Just my opinion.

6) Am I being picky, or are others experiencing this confusion too?
 
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airkas1
Posts: 7904
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 7:01 am

Re: Complexity/Confusion with Photo Search

Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:25 am

FlySail2015 wrote:
1a) How can I be sure I'm getting all the photos I'm interested in now that there are so many different variations in the bank of what is, in reality, the same airplane or airline? For example, if I start typing in "C-17," both "Boeing C-17" and "McDonnell Douglas C-17" come up as options. Are some photos classified as Boeings and some as MDs? Or do they all get combined in a way that it doesn't matter what I search? If it doesn't matter, then why are both in the menu?

Yes, there is a classification made between Boeing and McD-D C-17's. This enables a search for either. Some people might want to only see Boeing C-17's and some might only want to see McD-D C-17's.
But if you enter "C-17 Globemaster III" in the keywords field, the results yield photos of all version and of both manufacturers.


FlySail2015 wrote:
1b) On a similar note, when I type in "US Airways Express," the two following variants pop up: "US Airways Express" and "Mesa Airlines US Airways Express." Why is that distinction there? There are several US Airways Express carriers; why is only Mesa being distinguished? A similar issue exists with Delta Connection too.

My guess is that an uploader uploaded a photo with the titles incorrectly filled in as what you mentioned. If they created a new entry in the airline field, it could've gotten added to the DB incorrectly as well. If the photos that had the incorrect titles have since been moved to the correct entry, that could explain the 0 results for that search term. I will advise the editors of this.


FlySail2015 wrote:
1c) If I were to embark on a search for American Airlines, I would start by typing the word "American." As I do this, I see I can choose "American" or "American Airlines"... but "American" returns no results. Sooo why is it there? (no other search criteria specified)

My guess is that an uploader incorrectly uploaded a photo with the titles "American". If they created a new entry in the airline field, it could've gotten added to the DB incorrectly as well. If the photos that had "American" as airline have since been moved to the correct entry (American Airlines), that could explain the 0 results for that search term. I will advise the editors of this.


FlySail2015 wrote:
2) Why will the fields let you select multiple aircraft types or airline types, but never yield a result when multiple are selected? For example, I was under the impression that selecting "Delta Air Lines" and "JetBlue Airways" would give me a search result of all the database's photos of both Delta and JetBlue airplanes. But instead, I get a "Sorry, no hits!" message. (no other search criteria specified)

Good question, I don't know either. I will advise the developers of this possible error.


FlySail2015 wrote:
3) What on earth is the difference between "Basic Type" and "Generic Type," and between "Manufacturer" and "Builder"?

In most (if not all) cases the basic and generic type are the same. I imagine these are artifacts from the original design of the database. We have since realized that it makes no use to list the basic type, which is why that one doesn't show up anymore in the photo details (it's just the version now). I think it could be removed in due time, but I'm not 100% sure.

The difference between manufacturer and builder:
Manufacturer = the original manufacturer of the aircraft, e.g. Airbus, Boeing, ATR.
Builder = license-built aircraft. For example the Fokker F-16 (manufacturer is General Dynamics) or the Reims Cessna CXXX (manufacturer = Cessna).

During screening we see a lot of people submitting photos that list the builder as Airbus or Boeing. This is incorrect. We've tried to make people aware of this, but not everyone reads the forum/their screening result E-mails. I understand the confusion though.


FlySail2015 wrote:
4) It seems like the Basic Search is too basic (no place to even choose an airline or aircraft type), and the Advanced Search is way too advanced (5 different ways of aircraft identifications.. tail numbers I understand, but how often does someone search for the msn of an aircraft? And what's the difference between "Reg" and "Reg [P]"? Isn't this a tad overkill.

In my opinion the basic search is configured fine at the moment. It's good for quick searches. Searching for a specific registration is easy and works (but still needs some fine-tuning). I just entered "Boeing 757" in the keywords field and it yields 75.762 photos of all versions and types of Boeing 757. I also entered "JetBlue" and it gives me 5.378 photos.
I also think it's good to atleast have a way to search for the msn/cn of an aircraft. Just to be able to offer it. I don't know how many people actually use that, but I can imagine some people do.

The difference between Reg and Reg [P]:
Reg = Actual registration.
Reg [P] = A registration that is painted on the aircraft, but which isn't the actual registration.

The same logic applies to the military serial. The "[P]" stands for 'painted'.


FlySail2015 wrote:
5) For all of the reasons mentioned above, is there any hope of bringing back the dropdown menus of the old site? That was so much simpler to use. Just click on the title of the airplane/aircraft/airport you want... no need for trial and error of free-typing every possible way something could be categorized... Just my opinion.

I don't know. But I do know that the developers are working on a new homepage layout that includes the search engine. They might incorporate the dropdown menu in that, but I'm not sure.


FlySail2015 wrote:
6) Am I being picky, or are others experiencing this confusion too?

Not going to answer that, but if there is any confusion, everyone is free to ask for clarification. And the feedback also helps us to see ways to improve the site's functions.

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