Bing’s Visual Search Engine

Bing had released a visual search engine in conjunction with its SilverLight software. I expect that this product will be highly used. Phil Bradley’s Blog does a great job of summarizing the new service.

“It’s a simple concept – people like searching visually. Provide them with pictures of something and they can narrow down really quickly (“It had a red cover and was on the third shelf down” sound familiar?) to exactly what they’re after. Bing is starting off slowly here with some popular concepts – US presidents, Film heroes and villains, tv shows, dog breeds, cars and so on. The idea is that you simply click on what interests you, and you’ll get a bunch of images. You can then mouseover the one that interests you and immediately see some information below the search box, with the person/thing/whatever added into the search box for you. I like that idea, as long as it works in a sensible way.”

Read original blog…


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on September 16, 2009, in Google, Microsoft, Tech Toys and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. An update on the BING visual search engine from the perspective of a Google employee:

    “Bing Visual Search

    By Alex Chitu

    Gone are the days when search engines provided mostly textual information, a list of 10 blue links that invite you to find the answers on your own. Search engines are now focused on extracting useful information from web pages and surfacing data in interesting ways.

    In June, Google launched Squared, a Labs project that generates lists of entities related to your query and finds values for the associated attributes. Search for [dog breeds] and you’ll find a list of breeds, suggestive images, information about the average weight and the country of origin.

    Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, has just launched a similar feature: visual search. It’s just an early demo and it requires Siverlight, but it looks more impressive than Google Squared. Probably because Microsoft built the interface around images and used the attributes to refine the results.

    “Visual Search allows you to quickly scroll through the galleries or do a one-click refinement using the quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through,” mentions Bing’s blog.

    Bing’s visual galleries are more polished than the results generated by Google Squared, but Bing only shows galleries for a small number of queries like “popular TV shows” or “world leaders” and the information is obtained from structured data sources.

    It remains to be seen if Microsoft manages to extend the visual search engine and dynamically generate results for any query. For now, you can play with the demo galleries.”

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