Search by Image breaks down source image into little blocks matched against Google’s vast content database

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply ask Google to analyze an image and return relevant results? Recently, I’ve been discussing this with my beer friends and we came away wishing a feature like that sooner than later. Before any of us could have dreamed of, however, Google at a San Francisco presser this morning took search to the next level with a science-fiction like enhancement. They call it Search by Image and that’s exactly what it does.

You simply drag an image and drop it on the search box to get matching results, just as if you manually typed in your query. Tapping Google’s advanced image recognition back-end, Search by Image works – and this is the cool bit – with offline images that Google has never touched and doesn’t have in its index.

On-stage demos were pretty impressive. One example included dropping a scenery image on the browser’s window, which returned a list of locations Google thought accurately represented what’s on the photo. Similarly  dropping a  logo returns the name of the associated company. There’s more…

As Google explained over at the official blog, The Search by Image feature will be rolling out globally in 40 languages over the course of several next days. Just visit images.google.com in your desktop browser and click the camera icon to provide your search query via images. You can also copy and paste an image URL, upload image files from your desktop and drag-and-drop images to the browser window. Extensions for Chrome and Firefox are also available so you can search any image on the web by right-clicking, Google said.

Speaking of images, as of today Google Instant is enabled for Google Image Search as well.

About the Author