Saturday, January 23, 2010

Google and Bing Improving Image Searches

Using browsers to search for images has just gotten easier. While many are familiar with Google's Image search feature (input text search terms and then click on "Images" to access image choices), Google now offers something called "Google Image Swirl" that proves stacks of images in response to your search term. While this is in the experimental stage and only offers a limited selection of search possibilities, it's great as a tool for basic imagery and art from well-known artists.

Microsoft's Bing offers another version of this with the new Bing Visual Search which allows you to search images without typing search terms, but simply clicking on a number of categories, such as "famous people", "reference", "sport", etc. Selecting from a category of images then leads to a large number of additional images with a similar theme. Visual Search also adds useful text data as you "mouse over" various images.

Both image browsers will continue to improve with time, and offer visual thinkers more possibilities while hunting for illustrative material for presentations.

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