Amazing Image Search Function on Google Photos

6 February 2023 by
Apryl Zhang

“Click.. Click….”

No matter if you are a student, white collar worker or elderly, the act of taking photos is likely a regular part of your day. According to statistics, 1.72 trillion photos are taken worldwide each year, which means we take nearly 4.7 billion photos per day, or 54,400 photos per second around the world today.

You can imagine that everyone has a lot of photos stored in their smartphones. Therefore, sorting and classifying the piles of photos is definitely a difficult job for everyone. What's more, if you want to find the photos you need, it's like ‘finding a needle in a haystack’, which is much more challenging.

That’s why Google Photos is here and helps to solve the above issues. When you upload your photos to Google Photos, it will automatically categorise each photo through its artificial intelligence system. It also further categorises and adds photos to specific categories. For instance, Google Photos has some default search categories for different themes, such as people, places, things, and more. With the help of these categories, users may rapidly view photos in the appropriate category at first glance.

Search people/ pets​

  • Search by text: Type the name of the person or pet (e.g., Da-Wen Chen, Little Meow, etc.) you are looking for in the search box at the top of the screen. (This method can only search for the name or nickname of a pre-labeled character or pet)
  • Search by suggestion: A row of icons will appear on the screen when you select the "People" or "Pets" category, allowing you to browse related images. These images will only feature images and videos associated with that category.

Search places

  • Search by text: Type the name of the place or landmark you are looking for, (e.g. Sheung Wan, Tian Tan Buddha, etc). Google can utilize its system database to match the place or landmark in the photo to find the photo you are looking for, even when the photo does not contain GPS information about the location.
  • Search by suggestion: Click on the "Places" category, which allows you to view photos via maps. (To view images organized by the places you have previously visited, you need to turn on the location history.

Search things

  • Search by text: Type what you are looking for in the search box, such as: birthday, selfie, sky, etc.
  • Search by suggestions: "Things" category will show different groups of things, and then just click on the individual groups to browse the related photos. (This method can search for related objects and concepts that are detected in the photos)

In addition, Google Photos can look for photos that are linked to food even if they are not titled or tagged, when you type the words "cuisine" or "food" in the search box.

In fact, one of the most unexpected features of Google Photos is that "colour" can be the subject of a search. If you type "green" into the search box, all of your Google Photos images with green components—such as green apples, green bean paste, grasslands, etc. It will not be a big deal if you forget the label of the photo, person or the landmark. Why not attempt to search for the colour of the photo by the corresponding text from your memory, and you may be able to find the photo you are looking for.

*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.

Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.

Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.

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