Monday, September 14, 2009

New Functionality in Google Image Search

Google has been adding new functionality to its image searches. The "show options" link that appears with search results gives the user the opportunity to restrict searches on size, type, and color. Size now includes a broader range of options, from "medium" and "large," to "larger than" a range of pixel dimensions and megapixel sizes. It also allows the user to search for specific image size and proportion by entering precise pixel dimensions. Type choices comprise faces, photos, clip art, or line drawings. Color options include full color, black and white, or specific colors from a small menu of choices -- this yields image results which prominently feature shades of the selected color. This option, while a welcome development, is still primitive when compared to other online tools (see Idée's Multicolr Search Lab, for example).

The Advanced Image Search repeats most of this functionality (no color menu option), but additionally permits:
  • Content types: allows the user to find images from the news, in addition to faces, photos, clip art, and line drawings.
  • Aspect ratio: returns images with aspect ratios that are tall, square, wide, or panoramic.
  • Filetypes: yields image files formatted as JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP.
  • Domain: lets one search a particular site or domain.
  • Usage Rights: returns images that are labeled for reuse, including for commercial use with or without modification.

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