Finding images is easy, but knowing their context isn’t always obvious. Until now.
You can easily get lost in Google Image Search, clicking on one related image after another, but Google’s latest update hopes to teach you more about the images you’re looking at.
What’s the update? On the Google blog, Search Software Engineer Angela Wu explains the update will introduce “quick facts” about the people, places, or things related to the images you look up, provided you’re on a mobile device and in the U.S.
What it means for you: Have you ever wondered why your local Middle School or parks have the names they do? With this new feature, you’d search for an image of the location, then Google would present you with additional information about the person they’re named after or the event that inspired the name.
“Or perhaps you’re looking for information about a famous architect’s work to inspire a home renovation or art project. You might come across this article about the architect winning an award and be able to easily learn more about the woman who is the namesake of that prize.”
How does it work? Information shown on Google Image Search is pulled from Google’s Knowledge Graph, which has been described as “a system that understands facts and information about entities from materials shared across the web.”
Have you ever googled a movie title and seen the panel on the right with the movie’s release date, runtime, reviews, and other details? That’s the Knowledge Graph at work. It’s basically a big database. As of this year, it has roughly 500 billion facts about five billion entities.
Bottom line: People spend a lot of time on Google already, so it can’t hurt to learn a few fun facts during that time. What may have once been a quick search for a top down image of a famous lake could now turn into a lengthy learning experience.