Built-in crawlers

This framework contains 6 built-in image crawlers.

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Baidu
  • Flickr
  • General greedy crawl (crawl all the images from a website)
  • UrlList (crawl all images given an url list)

Search engine crawlers

The search engine crawlers (Google, Bing, Baidu) have universal APIs. Here is an example of how to use the built-in crawlers.

from icrawler.builtin import BaiduImageCrawler, BingImageCrawler, GoogleImageCrawler

google_crawler = GoogleImageCrawler(
    storage={'root_dir': 'your_image_dir'})
filters = dict(
    date=((2017, 1, 1), (2017, 11, 30)))
google_crawler.crawl(keyword='cat', filters=filters, offset=0, max_num=1000,
                     min_size=(200,200), max_size=None, file_idx_offset=0)

bing_crawler = BingImageCrawler(downloader_threads=4,
                                storage={'root_dir': 'your_image_dir'})
bing_crawler.crawl(keyword='cat', filters=None, offset=0, max_num=1000)

baidu_crawler = BaiduImageCrawler(storage={'root_dir': 'your_image_dir'})
baidu_crawler.crawl(keyword='cat', offset=0, max_num=1000,
                    min_size=(200,200), max_size=None)

The filter options provided by Google, Bing and Baidu are different. Supported filter options and possible values are listed below.


  • type – “photo”, “face”, “clipart”, “linedrawing”, “animated”.
  • color – “color”, “blackandwhite”, “transparent”, “red”, “orange”, “yellow”, “green”, “teal”, “blue”, “purple”, “pink”, “white”, “gray”, “black”, “brown”.
  • size – “large”, “medium”, “icon”, or larger than a given size (e.g. “>640x480”), or exactly is a given size (“=1024x768”).
  • license – “noncommercial”(labeled for noncommercial reuse), “commercial”(labeled for reuse), “noncommercial,modify”(labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification), “commercial,modify”(labeled for reuse with modification).
  • date – “pastday”, “pastweek” or a tuple of dates, e.g. ((2016, 1, 1), (2017, 1, 1)) or ((2016, 1, 1), None).


  • type – “photo”, “clipart”, “linedrawing”, “transparent”, “animated”.
  • color – “color”, “blackandwhite”, “red”, “orange”, “yellow”, “green”, “teal”, “blue”, “purple”, “pink”, “white”, “gray”, “black”, “brown”
  • size – “large”, “medium”, “small” or larger than a given size (e.g. “>640x480”).
  • license – “creativecommons”, “publicdomain”, “noncommercial”, “commercial”, “noncommercial,modify”, “commercial,modify”.
  • layout – “square”, “wide”, “tall”.
  • people – “face”, “portrait”.
  • date – “pastday”, “pastweek”, “pastmonth”, “pastyear”.


  • type: “portrait”, “face”, “clipart”, “linedrawing”, “animated”, “static”
  • color: “red”, “orange”, “yellow”, “green”, “purple”, “pink”, “teal”, “blue”, “brown”, “white”, “black”, “blackandwhite”.

When using GoogleImageCrawler, language can be specified via the argument language, e.g., google_crawler.crawl(keyword='cat', language="us").


Tips: Search engines will limit the number of returned images, even when we use a browser to view the result page. The limitation is usually 1000 for many search engines such as google and bing. To crawl more than 1000 images with a single keyword, we can specify different date ranges.

    filters={'date': ((2016, 1, 1), (2016, 6, 30))},
    filters={'date': ((2016, 6, 30), (2016, 12, 31))},
# set `file_idx_offset` to "auto" so that filenames can be consecutive numbers (e.g., 1001 ~ 2000)

Flickr crawler

from datetime import date
from icrawler.builtin import FlickrImageCrawler

flickr_crawler = FlickrImageCrawler('your_apikey',
                                    storage={'root_dir': 'your_image_dir'})
flickr_crawler.crawl(max_num=1000, tags='child,baby',
                     group_id='68012010@N00', min_upload_date=date(2015, 5, 1))

Supported optional searching arguments are listed in https://www.flickr.com/services/api/flickr.photos.search.html. Here are some examples.

  • user_id – The NSID of the user who’s photo to search.
  • tags – A comma-delimited list of tags.
  • tag_mode – Either “any” for an OR combination of tags, or “all” for an AND combination.
  • text – A free text search. Photos who’s title, description or tags contain the text will be returned.
  • min_upload_date – Minimum upload date. The date can be in the form of datetime.date object, an unix timestamp or a string.
  • max_upload_date – Maximum upload date. Same form as min_upload_date.
  • group_id – The id of a group who’s pool to search.
  • extras – A comma-delimited list of extra information to fetch for each returned record. See here for more details.
  • per_page – Number of photos to return per page.

Some advanced searching arguments, which are not updated in the Flickr API, are also supported. Valid arguments and values are shown as follows.

  • color_codes – A comma-delimited list of color codes, which filters the results by your chosen color(s). Please see any Flickr search page for the corresponding relations between the colors and the codes.
  • styles – A comma-delimited list of styles, including blackandwhite, depthoffield, minimalism and pattern.
  • orientation – A comma-delimited list of image orientation. It can be landscape, portrait, square and panorama. The default includes all of them.

Another parameter size_preference is available for Flickr crawler, it define the preferred order of image sizes. Valid values are shown as follows.

  • original
  • large 2048: 2048 on longest side†
  • large 1600: 1600 on longest side†
  • large: 1024 on longest side*
  • medium 800: 800 on longest side†
  • medium 640: 640 on longest side
  • medium: 500 on longest side
  • small 320: 320 on longest side
  • small: 240 on longest side
  • thumbnail: 100 on longest side
  • large square: 150x150
  • square: 75x75

size_preference can be either a list or a string, if not specified, all sizes are acceptable and larger sizes are prior to smaller ones.


* Before May 25th 2010 large photos only exist for very large original images. † Medium 800, large 1600, and large 2048 photos only exist after March 1st 2012.

Greedy crawler

If you just want to crawl all the images from some website, then GreedyImageCrawler may be helpful.

from icrawler.builtin import GreedyImageCrawler

greedy_crawler = GreedyImageCrawler(storage={'root_dir': 'your_image_dir'})
greedy_crawler.crawl(domains='http://www.bbc.com/news', max_num=0,
                     min_size=None, max_size=None)

The argument domains can be either an url string or list.

URL list crawler

If you have already got an image url list somehow and want to download all images using multiple threads, then UrlListCrawler may be helpful.

from icrawler.builtin import UrlListCrawler

urllist_crawler = UrlListCrawler(downloader_threads=4,
                                 storage={'root_dir': 'your_image_dir'})

You can see the complete example in test.py, to run it

python test.py [options]

options can be google, bing , baidu, flickr, greedy, urllist or all, using all by default if no arguments are specified. Note that you have to provide your flickr apikey if you want to test FlickrCrawler.