Join 3,517 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Google Swirl
November 17, 2009 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Google Swirl is a new Google Labs experiment that lets a user search through images in a "visual and semantic" way, allowing users to search through radiating treeviews of conceptually related images. (requires flash)
posted by boo_radley (27 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Those smart devs even coded support for the extra mouse button. GOOG FTW.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:35 PM on November 17, 2009


Sorry, this query not included in the demo

This tool is useless without porn.
posted by bh at 2:43 PM on November 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Googleblog on Image Swirl:
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.
...
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.
Seems like an early beta, because while it works, there are a lot of duplicate images and images that are drastically different, but it seems like there's not a lot of gradation between the two ends.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:44 PM on November 17, 2009


bh, it handled my outlier with aplomb.
posted by boo_radley at 2:51 PM on November 17, 2009


Rule 34. Zamboni. Not sure I want to go there. But good luck with that. I am not passing judgment.
posted by bh at 2:57 PM on November 17, 2009


Even at this stage, even with some of the mismatches and dupes, it's easy to see how powerful something like this could be.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:03 PM on November 17, 2009


This looks like it could be really cool, once they get the duplicates removed (or at least dealt with in a different way). The interface itself is fantastic - not only have Google worked out how to make a Flash interface that still lets you use a human-readable link to get back to it in any given state, it's very usable and logical. Being able to get back to the root of the tree (cloud? bubble chain?) in one click, because everything is still on screen, is very cool.

Although while we're on the subject, I downloaded Picasa 3.5 the other day, and let its face recognition feature get to work. It is creepy as hell. The fact that my computer can now pick out photos of me from a crowded scene - and, given Google's sometimes...interesting...approach to gathering data on its users, Google itself can potentially do the same - feels very odd, and it's touch and go whether that will override the geeky urge to pat my computer on the head and give it a biscuit every time it gets another identification right.
posted by ZsigE at 3:09 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Type in "bears" -- look at the lower left result.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:10 PM on November 17, 2009


I wonder if Nicholas Jitkoff had anything to do with it. It looks a bit like Quicksilver's Constellation radial menus.
posted by arruns at 3:11 PM on November 17, 2009


Man, I'm so looking forward to getting to play with this at home on my 46" TV. It's going to be like living in a sci-fi movie; a graphical interface allowing me to drill down through spinning branches of images to the specific one I'm looking for.

Once it has porn, of course.
posted by quin at 3:16 PM on November 17, 2009


quin: yes, and imagine what you could do with this and glovepie.
posted by boo_radley at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2009


These sorts of branch browsers have been around for a while now, but this is the first one that I enjoyed using. Well-done.

The branching seems kind of shallow, though. The longest chain I've been able to make is six nodes. I wonder if it's because they're working from a fairly small image set.
posted by ardgedee at 3:26 PM on November 17, 2009


This tool is useless without porn.

Search for people.
posted by empath at 3:34 PM on November 17, 2009


I love the fact that the "swirl" for the term "fractal art" resembles a fractal.
posted by lekvar at 3:36 PM on November 17, 2009


glovepie

Ho. Lee. Fuck.

I type this looking at a ~110 inch 1080p projection screen, but soon I will be screaming it while gesticulating wildly at a ~110 inch 1080p projection screen.
posted by cmoj at 3:38 PM on November 17, 2009


WINDOWS ONLY WHYYYY
posted by cmoj at 3:38 PM on November 17, 2009


Until we can control it with bionic gloves, I'm just not interested.
posted by Flashman at 3:43 PM on November 17, 2009


It this what makes a bear?

Weird fun: change the URLs you get by a few digits, and find whatever else there might be that is related to your original search topic.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:43 PM on November 17, 2009


I like Cooliris better, though its interface is a bit jerky and wonky at times.
posted by zardoz at 3:44 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Total derail on glovepie, but I love the idea of using my Concept II rower as a controller for a racing game, or better yet, for automatically selecting the tempo of my workout music.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:44 PM on November 17, 2009


WINDOWS ONLY WHYYYY
posted by cmoj


It works fine on this Mac.
posted by lekvar at 4:37 PM on November 17, 2009


"This tool is useless without porn."

You're not trying hard enough. (NSFW)
posted by markkraft at 4:55 PM on November 17, 2009


Total derail on glovepie, but I love the idea of using my Concept II rower as a controller for a racing game, or better yet, for automatically selecting the tempo of my workout music.

If you can map it to a keyboard output (or better yet, midi), this would be dead simple to do with Ableton live -- you map whatever output you get to the 'tap' button in ableton which automatically sets the BPM to the average tap speed.

You'd have to warp the tracks first, but it would work.
posted by empath at 5:10 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just don't get it.... but... i'm old, it's late,

oh..kittens!
posted by HuronBob at 5:35 PM on November 17, 2009


WINDOWS ONLY WHYYYY

Works fine in Linux, too, using Flash 10.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:05 PM on November 17, 2009


I think the windows only was for glovepie.
posted by boo_radley at 6:07 PM on November 17, 2009


It does not handle my outlier with aplomb, my outlier being "sparkly vampire."
This is for the best, I suppose.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:05 PM on November 17, 2009


« Older Wesleyan, a liberal arts college in Middletown, CT...  |  Julian Voss-Andreae makes art ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments