The Picture Archive Council of America (PACA)has announced that their pacaSearch initiative has gone to Beta testing. With Pacasearch the organization has the ambitious target of reaching all image buyers in the US (and later the world).
The organisation is looking for feedback from users during this test period. It’s also looking for remaining members that haven’t done so yet to implement the API. The launch is planned for January. Pacasearch is a meta search engine that connects to members’ databases to present a joined-up search experience. There are a number of commercial companies operating with similar models like stockphotofinder, THP and Picturemaxx. Then there is are a growing number of companies with millions of images hosted on their own servers. Finally there’s Google Images of course. This is a very full space and competition will be fierce.
PACA calls it: “A one-stop destination for professional image users anywhere in the country.” The organisation also says: “As simple to use as Google Images—only 100% better as our search engine will take potential clients directly to perfect images they can licence from our members’ own websites.” Not everyone agrees with this as you can read here. There’s also the question if Google Images combined with Picscouts’ Image Exchange would deliver similar functionality (forwarding the request to the license holder) with the advantage of the all encompassing Google search.
PACA says: “At speeds that will literally make your eyes water, our unique system knocks spots off anything even remotely similar and is set to become the industry standard. Created and designed by our very own webmaster, Doug Dawirs, pacaSearch is going to mean that membership of PACA will not just be extremely useful—but completely essential.” There’s a demo of the system at: www.pacaoffice.org/mov/test/pacasearch_demo.html
In preparation for the January launch recruitment has started for looking for members to join the launchteam. The team is looking for people with experience in product launches, marketing, and social and professional networking.