The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Google Image Swirl

The development of technologies, is, as we have all heard, crucial to the development and survival of museums. So I wonder, then, what the potential is for a technology such as Google Image Swirl. For me, the initial thoughts were collections management and documentation, but also the value that such a technology could have for interesting and perhaps unthought of interpretation strategies.

What do you think?


J said...

I clicked on the link, and then on one of the suggested search terms. It took me a while to get the fact that you have to click on the result, which presents you with a web of other results. I still didn't get it. I went to the Labs homepage, and read this:
"Google Image Swirl organizes image search results based on their visual and semantic similarity and presents them in an intuitive exploratory interface."

Umm, yah, No. Not intuitive at all.

Having said that, yes, I agree with you that it could be a cool gadget for art collections - comparing the works of the same artist, or sketches for a painting or sculpture, etc. Representations of the same place over time, perhaps. Heck, anything that has a particular visual pattern.

J said...

OK, I've just gone back and put in a search term the results of which I can understand.
Ahh, bliss.

Jenny said...


Yeah, I didn't find it intuitive either, actually. Once I understood, it was a little better, but it is VERY unstructured (or gives the impression of being). And really, if you think about it, the connections are still being made for the user rather than the user making them themselves. It's just hidden better, perhaps.