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Google Introduces The Sophisticated Swirl Feature For Its Image Search

The search engine giant Google is testing a new mode of image search called Image Swirl which will give the user 12 different sets of images related to a given keyword based search. For example, if the user searched for ‘Liverpool’, a set of maps will appear along with images of Liverpool FC football club including images of the Albert Dock.

The new image search engine, which was launched on Tuesday, is Google’s way of getting back at Microsoft’s Bing search engine which brings layers of similar images for the searched item.

The interface of Image Swirl is based on that of Google’s Wonder Wheel and has technology for finding similar images and facial recognition developed earlier by Google for Picasa.

Experts say that, after a search query is entered in the Image Swirl, every option which appears on the results page is not a single image but rather a group of similar images appearing like a stack of photos.

According to Google every thumbnail on the results page represents an algorithmically-determined representative group of images with similar appearance and meaning.

However, the Image Swirl is not available on all the search items but for those which auto-complete themselves in the search bar which are more than 200,000 in number.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.