GSA’s DigitalGov Search Helps Citizens Find Government Pictures

Government content is no longer limited to .gov websites. Social media accounts also contain a treasure trove of information relevant to visitors.

Increasingly, we’ve noticed that our agency customers are publishing their best images on social media and within database-driven multimedia galleries on their websites. These sources are curated, contain metadata, and have both thumbnails and full-size images. That’s a big improvement in quality over the images embedded within HTML pages on agencies’ websites.

That’s why we recently decided to leverage agencies’ Flickr and Instagram pictures to build a better image search that makes it easier for the public to find good, high-quality government pictures on .gov websites.

In the spirt of Halloween, see the sample results page below that shows image results displayed on for a search on moon.doi-moon

We also open-sourced the entire codebase behind this project.

Read our blog post, Recap of Social Digital Search Webinar, to learn more about how we’re using Flickr, Instagram, and YouTube to improve image and video search results.

About Us

DigitalGov Search delivers fast, relevant search results on 1,500 government websites. We use a combination of our own indexes and commercial APIs built on top of open government data to give 24 million visitors a good search experience each month.