Cool Toys pics of the day: Google Image Swirl


Google: Image Swirl:

Interesting toy in development from Google. It is still very much in
beta, so many terms and concepts are not yet searchable, and the
searches you can do are within a very limited collection.

What seems to happen is that you search a term Google Image Swirl then
looks for images and clusters them in concept groups, apparently based
on a combination of semantic content linkages and image
characteristics. The image shown here is for the search term “cancer.”
You’ll see clusterings of images such as crabs (for the astrological
cancer), cancer and stem cell research, anatomy images, doctors
offices, support and advocacy groups, breast cancer, and more. You
click on an image, and then that will zoom to details of that cluster,
with images that relate and differ by both the semantic or image
characteristics. In this image, I had clicked on the cancer cells,
which then broke out with two groups on cells and one on astrology,
but those three were groups by color as RGB (red, green, blue).

I wondered if that was a coincidence so tried another search, this
fime for “chip.” This is a more ambiguous term with a broader range of
meanings. I clicked on a line drawing of a circuit diagram, and
received this time a group of 9 additional clusters, 5 of circuit
diagrams and 4 of other possible meanings (how to diagrams, the
chatacter “Chip” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, part of a
jewelry catalog, etcetera. But this time ALL the images were line
drawings, which was surely not a coincidence.

Anyya, it is part conceptual search tool for images with built-in
disambiguation and clarification, and the other part game / fortune
telling – what does this term mean / guess how we got this! Loads of


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