Google Adds New Personalized Photo Search Feature

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Google announced that you can now find photos, and connect with friends, places and events from your Google+ photos from Google Search. To do so, go to Google, sign in, and search for "my photos" or "my photos from new york last year," or something to that effect.

"For example, now you can search for your friend’s wedding photos or pictures from a concert you attended recently," says Google product manager Matthew Kulick. "To make computers do the hard work for you, we’ve also begun using computer vision and machine learning to help recognize more general concepts in your photos such as sunsets, food and flowers."

My Photos

"Your photos represent some of your most important memories and life events, yet they are increasingly difficult to manage as you build up your photo library, accumulate new devices and make new friends. In many cases, searching for your photos can be challenging because the information you’re looking for is visual," says Kulick.

The feature works pretty well, even for something as general as "my photos of food". I have to say, I'm impressed that it can recognize "food" when that can really be any number of things. It struggles with other things. While it will do well with "my photos of people," it won't do so well with "my photos of babies".

The "my photos of food" query also didn't work too well with Google's new voice search feature, in my experience.

It handles some timeframes well. For example, queries for "my photos from last year," "my photos from two years ago," and so on work pretty well. "Photos from this week" works. "Photos from January," or "Photos from February" queries don't work. Something like "my photos from 2009" does work.

The feature is also available on Google+ Photos.

As Android Police described in an article this week, one of the new, but "unadvertised" Google+ features Google rolled out from Google I/O is photo search with visual recognition.

Tor Norbye

I'm blown away by the new photo search in Google+ where it's recognizing subjects in my own photos -- here the various times I've run into snakes while hiking.

It's unbelievable how the state of the art in computer vision has progressed recently. And I can't imagine the amount of number crunching that must have gone into all this picture processing!

This seems to be just one of the latest ways Google continues to tie its various services together into one larger Google experience.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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