Conduct a Google image search and you may be surprised to see the inclusion of new contextual information, if you’re in the United States at least. Google announced that it is integration the feature into search as a means for users to gain more insight into what they may be looking for.
This new feature is also an extension of the knowledge graph and panels that Google has introduced in previous years when it comes to regular browser searches.
“When you search for an image on mobile in the U.S., you might see information from the Knowledge Graph related to the result. That information would include people, places or things related to the image from the Knowledge Graph’s database of billions of facts, helping you explore the topic more,” says Google Search software engineer, Angela Wu.
Explaining how the feature would work and ultimately benefit end users, Wu uses the example of wanting to visit an American state park. If you search for images of nearby state parks, and click on one which features a river, the contextual information provided may include the name of the river, what activities can be done on it, with links available too.
It is important to note the “may” aspect of what Wu mentions here, as the contextual information feature is not available to every single Google image search, for obvious reasons.
That said, the aforementioned knowledge graph has been adding facts to its database since it was first introduced in 2012, with an estimated 500 billion facts related to five billion entries. As such, the amount of information on hand is still rather extensive, and should be available for major landmarks or important images.
For now the interesting feature is limited to the United States, but there are plans to expand the number of languages and its availability in future.
“This feature will start to appear on some images of people, places and things in Google Images and will expand to more images, languages and surfaces over time,” concludes Wu.