Two New Things from Google


Google Image Swirl

I wanted to share a couple new things that are part of the Google family, Google Image Swirl and Google Dashboard.

Google Image Swirl, new from Google Labs, is an image search engine. It is one of those Google things I am not sure I get. Hey, I am still trying to wrap my head around Google Voice and  Google Wave.  I have learned however, that when Google speaks it is worth listening even when I don’t understand the half of it. To wit, this is how the help page and FAQ’s describe Google Image Swirl –

“Google Image Swirl organizes image search results based on their visual and semantic similarities and presents them in an intuitive exploratory interface.”


“Google Image Swirl combines a variety of image similarity features with additional metadata about the images to build a hierarchy of clusters of image search results.”

Yeah, my head hurts already. Fortunately the images themselves are worth a thousand words. With a little playing in the interface you can see what they are getting at. I went from Notre Dame cathedral pictures to the ND university logo to buildings on the campus to a person’s wedding pictures all in an easy visual click-able interface. It is highly experimental but worth checking out.

Google Dashboard on the other hand is pretty straight forward. When you sign in with your Google account, it allows you to review and control all of the data and products associated with that account.  It is very cool that you can see and manipulate everything that you have in Google including your calendars, contacts, YouTube activity, your purchases with Google Checkout.  The summary lets you know what pieces of your Google life are available to the public by displaying a small “people” icon next to whatever data is open to public view. It is a great way to check yourself (I had totally forgotten those two files I uploaded when I was playing with Google Video back in January of 2007 and never realized that I am managing 14 calendars between school and home life!). Many thanks to Amber MacArthur and Leo Laporte for sharing this new feature on their excellent podcast – net@night so I could share it here.

Steve Sokoloksi (stevesoko on Twitter)


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