Google Similar Image Search

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Google Labs launched a cool new feature this week, Google Similar Image Search. It functions much like you would expect—type in a search term, and Google will find images that it thinks are the same or similar. You can continue to narrow your search to the nth degree; my search for “phoenix” lead me to images for the bird, band, Southwestern city, NASA lander and, of course, Joaquin. Since I was looking for images to guide my upcoming trip to Arizona, I avoided looking at Joaquin, and suddenly found myself able to visually explore multiple versions of the same shot of downtown Phoenix and the surrounding desert. The filters used in normal Google Image search are particularly helpful, as you can use these to narrow your initial search results by size, content, and color. Most of all, it allows you to track the circulation and modification of a single image's path online, a tool that could potentially be useful for artists.