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In a big step forward for the mobile Internet, Google Labs is offering a new way of searching. Simply take a picture of what your searching for – no need to type your search anymore.

Google Labs has examples

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Google Maps has just announced they intend to create a place page for businesses, points of interest, transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities all over the world.

This is a huge step forward for Google Maps and a truly game changing idea if Google is able to implement this successfully for places throughout the world.

The official Google Blog has more details in this post, from that post here is a Place Page example

visual-search

Microsoft’s bing.com has introduced visual search technology.

After studying the ways humans process information Microsoft Research concluded that humans are able to process results with images 20% faster than text only results.

The new Bing Visual Search tool allows users to formulate and refine search queries using image galleries. This more structured the data the more impressive the speed of search improvements.

Bing Community has more details in a visual search post at their search blog.

Google has already scanned 10 million books in its bid to digitise the contents of the world’s major libraries. The 10 million titles are from libraries in America and Europe – including half a million volumes held by the Bodleian in Oxford. Google’s aim being to construct a universal online archive, which will be freely searchable.

The Guardian Newspaper has an update on the project here.

Google has launched a  new way to personalise Google internet searches – Google SearchWiki. Google SearchWiki allows users to promote results they like and delete search results they do not like. Results can be promoted to the top of the listing and allow users to comment on them.

This is a fundamental change which the Lonodon Times is reporting will be rolled out in the next few hours, and the biggest update to Google’s massively popular search engine for more than a year. And a change which Google is calling it the next step in the evolution of online search.

Google has released an iphone app to allow iPhone users to search without having to type.

Google said “Google Mobile App helps you find the information you need quickly and easily with instant access to Google Search.”

Features include

Voice Search
Search with My Location
Local search suggestions on a map
Instant access to search
Google Suggest
URL suggestions
Contact search
Search history
Easy access to other Google products

Google has presented to Ad Agencies new options to show different ads in response to searches made from iPhones. The change will allow advertisers will be able to create an iPhone ad group as part of their existing campaign.

Adweek has more

Microsoft have announced that it has won a key distribution deal with HP, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, to install a Live Search-enabled toolbar on all HP consumer PCs planned to ship in the United States and Canada, beginning in January 2009.

As part of this deal, the default search engine setting in the browser on all HP consumer PCs will also be set to Microsoft Live Search.

Microsoft Press Release here

Google Maps has been given the universal search treatment with different kinds of content being embedded into the search results

For example

Fife info
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=fife&ie=UTF8&layer=x&ll=56.269286,-3.144836&spn=0.761042,1.82373&z=9

glasgow info
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=glasgow&ie=UTF8&layer=x&ll=55.87454,-4.257202&spn=0.19222,0.455933&z=11

nottingham info
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=nottingham&ie=UTF8&layer=x&ll=52.96477,-1.149445&spn=0.206371,0.455933&z=11

If you click on the map area and drag the map in any direction or rescale the map the pictures change to the new area which is pretty cool.

SearchMe has a new visual search in beta. If this can deliver the right results ie if their algorithm is as good as the the big 3 engines this is really going to change the way people search.


Introduction to searchme

 
Demo video