Skip to main content

Google adds 'sort by subject' to image searches

Google has added a new layer of searchability to its copyright-breaching image engine free-for-all in the form of a 'sort by subject' filter.

"When you’re searching for images, sometimes it can be hard to come up with exactly the right words to describe what you have in mind. For example, when you think of London, you might picture the iconic clock tower or the big Ferris wheel," writes Google's boss of images Donald Tanguay. "You may not always remember the names of those landmarks, but you can visualise them in your mind. To make it easier for you to find images in situations like these, you can now use Google Images with sorting."

Searching for London will bring up images ranked by relevance but clicking on 'sort by subject' in the left hand panel will organise the images into categories narrowing down the search.

Tanguay continues with his big London clock theme saying that using the organised view might remind you that that particular landmark is called Big Ben. We're a little disappointed that a key employee of one of the world's largest sources of information doesn't know that Big Ben is actually the bell inside the Clock Tower at the Houses of Parliament rather than the clock itself (and we don't care what Wackypedia says on the matter so don't bother pointing that one out).

Either way, you'll still end up with a nice bunch of pictures of the big clock in London so everybody's happy.

Google says the engine uses all sorts of clever algorithms, pixel values and semantic relationships to make meaningful groupings of similar images, and that the service will be rolled out globally to nearly every domain and language in the next week.

All I need now is a picture of that bloke. You know? The one with the face. And the Beard. John summink. Used to be in that telly programme about wotsit. Tall fella. Limp. Looked like he smelled of crab paste and beef-flavoured Hula Hoops. Or was it Jim? Could have been Lawrence.