Google debuts even more unbelievably helpful labs

Google logoBetanews takes a quick look at the newest Google Labs: Similar Images, and Google News Timeline.

Google Labs today officially announced the "Similar Images" and "Google News Timeline" tools, which have been deepening the well of useful search apps from the number one search provider since late last week.

Similar Images does exactly as its name suggests. When in Google Image search, queries for common or ambiguous terms frequently yield a lot of undesired results. A search for "colt," for example, could return images of a gun, a horse, a car, or an American football player: quite disparate results. By clicking the "Similar Images" tag under an appropriate picture, the search is narrowed to only the pictures that look similar to the chosen result.

Sometimes the results are humorously off the mark, though, especially when the chosen image is black-and-white. Google determines similarity based largely upon the color and "temperature" of a photo, so when it's a greyscale image, almost anything is fair game. For example, a search for "Martin Scorsese" yields a black and white portrait within the first dozen images. If I wanted to find another portrait of the director in a similar fashion, I'd be out of luck, because clicking on Similar Images returns almost exclusively pictures of George Harrison of the Beatles. Photos of Harrison are tied with those of Scorsese because of a documentary film the director was working on about the Beatle several years ago.

Google News Timeline is a Google News lab that takes a search topic and arranges resulting news stories on a scrollable graphical timeline. The timeline provides a good degree of granularity, and can list results by the day, week, month, year, or even decade. The timeline can be scrolled far back into modern history, with news article coverage beginning in the 19th century. The timeline can even be rolled well into history, showing Wikipedia entries chronologically where news stories are not available.

This kind of depth, too, offers some humorous results. A search for "OJ Simpson" by the decade shows all of the coverage of the infamous former football player and actor from about 1968 to the present. Scrolling the timeline back, however, shows search results with both "OJ" and "Simpson" all the way back to the early 1800s. Because many historical documents are scanned and cataloged via text recognition software, the longhand lowercase "F" is recognized as a capital "J", so "oJ" is a commonly occurring word in old scanned documents in place of "of". So a search for "OJ Simpson" reveals a several hundred year long historical timeline, including "Simpson's History of the Gypsies" from 1866, and classified ads from Flinders-era Australian newspapers.

Sure they're both somewhat imprecise, but they're labs, Google's real beta testing ground.

Source: Betanews

Tags: Google

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (16)