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Google looks like Garble
April 22, 2009 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Similar Images is a Google feature that allows you to search for images using pictures rather than words. So you can get images of vaguely similar pigs or somewhat similar houses or egglike shapes or hands or snowflakes.
posted by twoleftfeet (43 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
My mind instantly turns to the pornographic applications of this feature.

Go me
posted by Avenger at 10:10 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jinx.
posted by mazola at 10:12 PM on April 22, 2009


they probably figured that they'd save 98% of their server load just by caching a page full of boobs & serving that up instead of performing an actual search on demand.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:19 PM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


you're the man now, dog.
posted by Avenger at 10:22 PM on April 22, 2009


I'm sure this girl loves the fact that google thinks she looks like a pig :P
posted by delmoi at 10:25 PM on April 22, 2009


er, this girl, who shows up in the pig results.
posted by delmoi at 10:28 PM on April 22, 2009


I think I broke the internet.
posted by mazola at 10:34 PM on April 22, 2009


There's been a bunch of tasks on the Amazon Mechanical Turk that required picking out similar objects in google image search related to whatever subject was at hand...just random things. Off hand, I can remember doing a searches for sprockets, closets, and lighters. I wondered what it was all for and it looks like this could be it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:34 PM on April 22, 2009


This is amazing for shoe shopping.
posted by toni_jean at 10:47 PM on April 22, 2009


Pretty cool, but they need to exclude results that don't return any similar images.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:55 PM on April 22, 2009


Kind of like tineye, but more complex image search options are awesome.
posted by graventy at 11:00 PM on April 22, 2009


Audio and visual parsing are very interesting problems and continue to affect the way we use computers and the internet. Plus, if I search for PumaSwede, I wanna see PumaSwede!
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 11:23 PM on April 22, 2009


Line drawing seem to break it.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 11:27 PM on April 22, 2009


Maybe that photo of the girl came from some anomaly - I notice photos of pig statues and leering alpacas on the page that comes up when I click on her photo. And I've seen people who look way more pig-like that she does. Odd.
posted by queensissy at 11:57 PM on April 22, 2009


I think tineye produces better results, as they do context agnostic searches that actually match line art in completely different colors.

The girl that shows up in the "pig" list occurs not because of image closeness, but the word "pig" is in the text directly above her photo on her original page ("there was a pig statue across the street").

If you choose an image that is only tangentially related to the search term (e.g. atom using a computer chip on a fingertip) the algorithm picks some similar images and then flops over into using contextual text-based page cues, which generates a bunch of nonsense (e.g. the DC comics character "The atom").
posted by benzenedream at 12:05 AM on April 23, 2009


Based on misreading the title of this thread I looked up Greta Garbo and found it mildly interesting that Google deemed Scarlett Johansson similar to Garbo.
posted by Kattullus at 12:06 AM on April 23, 2009


My mind instantly turns to the pornographic applications of this feature.

Like this, you mean? [sfw]
posted by robtoo at 12:29 AM on April 23, 2009 [14 favorites]


Like this, you mean? [sfw]

That was frightening.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:49 AM on April 23, 2009


The "Evening Gown" search that they feature on their front page is a great example of how this can work. Within a few clicks you can get a page of pictures showing a style you are interested in in a colour of your choice.

As with tineye this is probably also a great tool for people looking for copyright violations.
posted by rongorongo at 12:53 AM on April 23, 2009


There's something very wrong when technology makes me look at these coffee whores.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:11 AM on April 23, 2009


We use Tineye here for copyright checks, but this is useful for grabbing design inspiration - more like *that* please...
posted by n3rt at 1:18 AM on April 23, 2009


I searched for myself and the first search results were an egg and a pear. I'm going on a diet.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:19 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It seems mostly keyword based. None of these images really looks like a guitar (or a rock for that matter) but most seem to be tagged with "Guitar Hero" or "Hard Rock Cafe".
posted by f5seth at 1:35 AM on April 23, 2009


Taters, leads me to....

Oh. My. God.
posted by chillmost at 1:50 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's good for finding specific shapes, colors, and Photoshop fun.
posted by f5seth at 2:01 AM on April 23, 2009


Like this, you mean? [sfw]

Looks like someone's figured out how to fool this thing and rig the results.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 4:56 AM on April 23, 2009


somewhat similar houses

Those houses are similar in the way that they are, indeed, houses.
posted by gman at 5:47 AM on April 23, 2009


This is amazing for shoe shopping.

I used to work for a software company that dealt with comparison shopping engines. One of the sites we worked with had this cool idea (click "Visual Search" under a product). Neat.
posted by freecellwizard at 5:49 AM on April 23, 2009


Those houses are similar in the way that they are, indeed, houses.

Scratch that. They're not even all houses.
posted by gman at 5:52 AM on April 23, 2009


there's a page full of boobs now?
posted by mattoxic at 5:52 AM on April 23, 2009


How about this one?
posted by lungtaworld at 5:57 AM on April 23, 2009


I searched for myself and the first search results were an egg and a pear. I'm going on a diet.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:19 AM on April 23 [1 favorite +] [!]

Muffinman, it's the muffins, man.
posted by milarepa at 6:03 AM on April 23, 2009


It's weird. None of these look similar.
posted by gman at 6:22 AM on April 23, 2009


Maybe that's how this was put together.
posted by Adam_S at 6:26 AM on April 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Microsoft's Live Search's 'similar images search' was introduced back in December. Manatees! Houses! Michael Jackson!

(Disclosure: I work for Live Search, but not image search).
posted by wfitzgerald at 6:34 AM on April 23, 2009


Adam_S: That is quite possibly the best thing I have ever seen and may go so far as to justify the existence of Livejournal. Okay, maybe not, but still a thousand kinds of awesome.
posted by The Bellman at 6:42 AM on April 23, 2009


Adam_S's Frog/Bale link deserves a post of its own. Incredible.
posted by brain_drain at 7:36 AM on April 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


but...snowflakes are ALL special....
posted by HuronBob at 7:49 AM on April 23, 2009


meta
posted by QuakerMel at 7:58 AM on April 23, 2009


Huh. Typing in "abstract" yielded results a lot more interesting than I expected it to.

Each image seems to kick back a pretty good sampling of the represented style, not the hilarious failure that I was kind of anticipating.
posted by quin at 8:58 AM on April 23, 2009


Images similar to ass.

Um... similar in that they rhyme, anyway. What is this, Google Rebus?
posted by rokusan at 12:49 PM on April 23, 2009


Did we break it?
posted by Xalf at 3:55 PM on April 23, 2009


Xalf: "Did we break it?"

God, I hate that site. It has exactly one purpose and completely fails at it. See, right now it says the site is down, but it works for me. It's returned false positives and false negatives many times in the past, too. There have even been times where I've tested a well-known site and it said "Huh? That doesn't look like a site on the Interwho." It's useless -- and yet people still point to it as a useful tool.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:22 AM on April 24, 2009


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