Messing with Color

Today, Google announced that you can use color filters on your image search results.

Today, I’m happy to announce that you too can use our color filter in your own image searches. Just search for something the way you normally would, such as [tulips]. On the results page, click on the “All colors” drop down in the blue bar and choose a color. For example, try restricting your results to [yellow tulips]. Want to see purple tulips instead? Simply click on the color filter again, select purple, and voila ? you have pages of beautiful images! – Official Google Blog: Search the rainbow

So I gave it a try and was impressed. I started with a search for “frog” and got some nice results. Then I applied the “orange” filter and liked those results. But then I searched for “blue frog” with the “orange” filter and got some strange results. Then I compared a search for “orange frog” with a search for “frog” using the “orange” filter. Not the same images. Typically, images search seems to look for words matching the search term associated with the image. The filter seems to look at the image but I don’t know how it rates images. This is not like the color search in flickr which matches the prominent color of the image with the search term (seen here). In fact, this is one area Google could use some improvement.

3 thoughts on “Messing with Color

  1. I find this pretty handy. From what little I’ve used it (since seeing it here yesterday)

    Most of the time you get fairly similar results (as noted above with your Orange Frog vs. Frog – /Orange Filter/). Mostly because if it’s a /colour/ frog, people usually include the colour in the tag/somewhere on the page as well.

    Where it’s useful – is when people don’t. Try “monk” vs “green monk” vs “monk /green filter/” – for a better comparison.


  2. I thought about that too but couldn’t think of an example where color wasn’t associated with the image – Green Monk seems like a good example.

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