When it launched back in 2001, Google Images initially indexed around 250 million images, a figure that had risen to 1 billion by 2005, and now stands in excess of a colossal 10 billion images today – a veritable shedload of images in anyone’s picture book.
Heavy duty things
Over the years Google have refined the service to separate images of clip art, line drawings, faces and even colours, with the search being powered by some “heavy-duty algorithmic wizardry and processing power.”
The company has now announced that it’ll be rolling out an update to Google Images to serve up fresh goodies like instant scrolling, larger thumbnails, a dense tiled layout and a groovy sounding ‘hover pane’.
Here’s the key features:
- Dense tiled layout designed to make it easy to look at lots of images at once. We want to get the app out of the way so you can find what you’re really looking for.
- Instant scrolling between pages, without letting you get lost in the images. You can now get up to 1,000 images, all in one scrolling page. And we’ll show small, unobtrusive page numbers so you don’t lose track of where you are.
- Larger thumbnail previews on the results page, designed for modern browsers and high-res screens.
- A hover pane that appears when you mouse over a given thumbnail image, giving you a larger preview, more info about the image and other image-specific features such as “Similar images.”
- Once you click on an image, you’re taken to a new landing page that displays a large image in context, with the website it’s hosted on visible right behind it. Click anywhere outside the image, and you’re right in the original page where you can learn more about the source and context.
- Optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through many pages, taking advantage of standard web keyboard shortcuts such as Page Up / Page Down. It’s all about getting you to the info you need quickly, so you can get on with actually building that treehouse or buying those flowers.