Google's Impressive Search by Image Becomes Smarter with the Knowledge Graph

Google has been improving its powerful search by image feature

By on July 2nd, 2012 20:26 GMT

Google's Search by Image, introduced last year, was revolutionary to many. There were already some websites that offered the same feature, but having it built in Google made a lot of people realize for the first time that they could search using an image not just for images.

Google has been improving the feature, the algorithm behind it, constantly, like it does with all of its search features.

Now, Google is showcasing some of the bigger improvements that have been introduced recently.

Google uses complex algorithms to analyze the image you provide and try to figure out what's in it. Based on this it does a search for the image itself, which is relatively easy, but also a regular text search for whatever it thinks the image represents.

The feature has now been improved to make these guesses more accurate and more specific. In Google's example, instead of just guessing it is a "flower" the algorithm figured out it is a "bird of paradise" flower from Hawaii.

Another interesting addition is the integration of the Google Knowledge Graph, the company's technology for trying to understand the meaning of words and the concepts behind them.

"Search by Image now uses the Knowledge Graph: if you search with an image that we’re able to recognize, you may see an extra panel of information along with your normal search results so you can learn more. This could be a biography of a famous person, information about a plant or animal, or much more," Google explained.

Finally, Google has also started using more recent images in the Search by Image results as well as provide answers from a bigger pool of websites.

"We’ve made recent improvements to our freshness, so when photos of major news stories start appearing on the Internet, you can often find the news stories associated with those photos within minutes of the stories being posted," Google added.

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