Filtering images (advanced)

Why filter images?

Power Searching with Google introduced the filters in Google Images, including expressing the type of resource you want with color filtering and finding similar images. Let’s look at some of the other filters available in Image search.

Google Images offers many tools to help you find

the precise images you want.You can filter by date, or by the kind of object that's in the image, by color, and so on. Google also has advanced filters that search for more specific properties of the image, such as the region where the image is from, or the file type.  Additionally, you can use Google image search to filter images that are visually similar, to find faces, or to find certain types of images, like clip art or line drawings.  

Using Google Image filters

Let’s try a simple image search for [man standing]. To filter this set of results, click on Search tools under the search box at the top of the screen. Several different options pop down, allowing you to search by time, by different kinds of results, by subject, by size, and so on. 

Figure 1. Google Images search filters.

Let’s try a more complex image search for [gargoyle].  

Step 1. Run a search in Google Images for [gargoyle].  

Step 2. Choose one that you like and hover over it. By hovering, you will find options such asSimilar and More sizes.

Step 3. Click on the Similar link.  This will run a search for all images that are very much like this one.  

Step 4. If the bar for Search tools is not already selected from your last search, click on it and you will see a list of other options that you can use to filter your search.  

Step 5. To get to Google's Advanced Image Search, click on the gear icon  at the top right hand side of the page. This allows you to filter by word (for example you could search for a phrase in quotes), you can filter by size, by aspect ratio, by color selection, by file type, or by files with different properties. The last option on the page is to filter by usage rights.  To learn more about usage rights and the Creative Commons license, see the lesson titled Creative Commons.   

Google’s Advanced Image search provides you with many different possibilities for finding and filtering images. You can start broadly and narrow down as you discover more. You can think of it as a search within a search. Filters give you the ability to exclude or include images that have particular properties—size, inclusion of faces, black and white, colors, etc.  Google’s Image search and Advanced image search are two great tools for finding specific images.


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