Aug 27, 2013

Really, Google?

Did you know that you if you have an image file, you can upload it to Google image search and Google will find the various websites that have that image?  Google can also search for visually similar images.  If it finds the exact same image, Google can also show you the image in all the various sizes that it has been published to the Internet.

My first thought is how cool this search feature is...but also somewhat funny, in my opinion. The other day, I found this caterpillar on the tire of my car and decided to take a picture of it. I was curious to find out what kind of insect it would become. So I uploaded the image to Google image search.  Here's the picture I took:

 Perhaps I should've cropped out the background with my tire showing because that must've really thrown off Google's search engines.  Instead of pictures of other similar caterpillars (which I figured would lead me to the type of insect it was) I got these:

An aerial view of Mount Fuji?!!!

The Callenburg Castle in Germany

Some long-haired kid's yearbook picture...

 A rip in someone's denim pants...

  An extreme close up of a hook bill bird.

An angry shark

I had to ask myself, "Really, Google?  Is that as close as you can get to my caterpillar?"  That leads me to my second thought - it's true what they say about computers.  They're only as smart as what you put into them.  Or, the answers they provide are only limited to what humans load into them.  If computers were really smarter than humans, then why couldn't it figure out I wanted to know the type of caterpillar this was.  Right?

Nonetheless, I still don't have the answer I needed.  Guess I'm going to have to visit the library and see if I can find a matching picture in one of their encyclopedias.  Oh well!!!  (゜レ゜)

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Cheryl said...

I think the people over at Google have messed up the settings. I use Google image search a lot. (because I am a dork with lots of questions)

Last year I did a post about Google image search using my photo as my test. (

I got images like a painting of someone named Lancelot "Capability" Brown. It was a stretch but I kind of could see it. So just now I went back and did the same picture and I got hundreds of random pictures of people...mostly men and none of them favor me in the slightest.

I guess I should be thankful that it didn't come up with Mt. Fuji, hook billed bird or an angry shark.

Interesting looking catipillar.


Liggy Blough said...

LOL! It is pretty funny what Google comes up you got me curious, though...wonder what would happen if I did that with my own picture? Thanks for stopping by, Cheryl!

I-Vee said...

Hah! Knew that yearbook kid looked familiar, it's Ke$ha. Love the other look-alikes :) Made me LOL

Liggy Blough said...

That was Ke$ha?!

Liggy Blough said...

That was Ke$ha?!

Wolfbernz said...

Hi Liggy,

I don't know much about caterpillars =, good luck on your quest to find out what type of caterpillar it is!


Trina said...

I haven't been to a library in years. Having the internet at your fingertips really changes your ability to find information!

Great Thoughts!

oldereyes said...

Hi, Liggy -

My experience with Google Image Search has been about the same. The technology exists to match pictures of a given type (like faces) but matching general images is really hard. I'd bet the government has it but they're not going to let Google offer it on line. There are sone good caterpillar identification websites where you put in colors, patterns, type of fur and you get possibilities.


I-Vee said...

Not sure if you've already found your answer, but from what I searched this looks like a tussock moth. BTW, be careful with flannel moth caterpillars; their hairs are coated w/poison!

Liggy Blough said...

Wow thanks for the info. I hadn't time yet to visit the library to find out. Glad I am not into touching caterpillars. I didn't realize they could be poisonous!