The new Google Image Search interface from the Google Labs visualizes large collections of images through clustering.
Official Google Blog: Explore images with Google Image Swirl, now in Labs
11/17/2009 11:17:00 AM
Back in 2001, to give people a new, quicker way to find images, we launched Image Search. When you do a search for [eiffel tower] you’ll find an array of images of the tower in the daytime, in black and white, at sunset and more. With Similar Images, which recently graduated from Google Labs, you can click "Find similar images" to narrow your search to, say, pictures of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Today, we’ve launched an experimental feature in Labs called Google Image Swirl, which builds on new computer vision research to cluster similar images into representative groups in a fun, exploratory interface.
…Image Swirl expands on technologies developed for Similar Images and Picasa Face Recognition to discern how images should be grouped together and build hierarchies out of these groups. Each thumbnail on the initial results page represents an algorithmically-determined representative group of images with similar appearance and meaning. These aren’t just the most relevant images — they are the most relevant groups of images.
Image Swirl currently works for more than 200,000 queries and we plan to include more queries in the future. Available queries will auto-complete as you start to type in the search box, similar to Google Suggest.