Several weeks ago, someone from a listserv that I’m on posted about a free course offered by Google called Power Searching. Nerdy, perhaps, but the price was right, and I signed up for it. Most of the topics they touched on were search features that I was at least dimly aware of, but there were a few tools that were new to me. The coolest of these by far was Search by Image. Not regular old Google image search where you type a description of the image you’re looking for into the search field. You can actually drag-and-drop an image file into the search field and Google will look for similar images.
The present capabilities of this particular tool are limited. I dropped in a photo of a mystery plant from my garden–I don’t know if it’s a weed or something that might be nice to keep. Anyway, the photos that Google came back with were of foliage against a background of mulch, like my photo, but the plants were all different species–the only common element was green against brown.
Still, it’s a cool idea and I’m sure that there are some searches it’s better for, such as trying to identify a well-photographed piece of geography. I know I’ll use it in the future.