announced a new product in Google Labs: Google Image Swirl. Image Swirl introduces a Wonder Wheel-like user interface for Google Images. The new search interface combines the Wonder Wheel experience with Google's ability to find similar images and discover faces in these images. Instead of just showing one image, the Image Swirl interface displays a stack of photos. Clicking on this stack opens up a Wonder Wheel with related images clustered around the original photo.Google just
For now, Image Swirl only works for about 200,000 queries, though Google plans to include more in the near future.
Better Photo Search Through Smarter Algorithms
This new feature takes image search to a new level, as it doesn't just display the most relevant images. Instead, Google notes, these "are the most relevant groups of images." To create these clusters of related images, Google analyzes the characteristics of the images themselves, but the algorithm also looks at meta tags and other clues in the description of these images. Google uses the same algorithms to find and organize images of landmarks in its index.
In an interview with eWeek, Google Image Swirl Product Manager Aparna Chennapragada said that this new service is part of Google's drive to "go beyond just relying on text." Bing introduced its visual search feature a few weeks ago and is still ahead of Google in bringing these features to its core search product.
Image Swirl makes looking for images on Google a far more interactive and fun experience. For now, Image Swirl is only a labs product - and some of the results can be a bit off at times - but chances are that this feature will find its way into the search options panel on Google Images in the future.