Google has rejigged its Labs section and has started a new website dedicated exclusively to Google experiments; simultaneously, the search giant launched two new experiments that could change the way you search for information.
Google News Timeline allow you to view news along a timescale (either daily, monthly, yearly or for a decade) and for any online publication that can be accessed by Google. Alternatively, you can add a single or a number of queries.
Organised chronologically, users can then navigate through the data using the slider. Think of it as another way of looking at an RSS feed. There are a few issues though like the fact that the Newsline toggles from, say year to month, when reaching the end of the line.
The other feature launched by Google is similar images which allow users to look for images that are visually similar to an existing result. Google Images is certainly one of the most visited part of the website, attracting a tenth of the total traffic on Google.com according to Alexa.
The new "Similar Image" search works great for ambiguous terms and provide with a mixture of results if in doubt. Examples provided by Google include Paris (for the capital and the socialite icon), jaguar (the animal and the car brand), Apple and Orange (for the brands and the fruits).
Both projects, like indeed the rest of the Google labs experiments, are glorious "work in progress" which shows that Google staff are still working on great projects during their 20 percent time off.
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Google is catching up with Microsoft when it comes to image recognition. Microsoft Live search did offer this capability before Google even brought them in Labs. Google labs is likely to be a hit especially if Google starts asking people to send in requests for potential experiments. Google Labs could also in the future bring together other experiments at Google like Labs, Google Code and Search.
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