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Bing’s new visual search

You’re going to want to play around with Bing’s beautiful, new Visual Search.  And so will your students.

A directory-type search, still in BETA, Visual Search allows you to search from images that fit into a growing variety of data groupings. It reminds me a bit of the matrix-type search offered by Google Squared. (See Google Squared: another one to love!)

Bing’s broad visual topics are currently available for:

Once in a topic, you refine your search based on the sets of images that make up your initial result list. Additional refinement options are suggested along the left nav bar.Sorting options appear above the gallery of results.



Bing explains
the purpose of its Visual Search:

Visual Search is a new way to formulate and refine your search queries through imagery, particularly for sets of results that tend to be more structured. We call these data groupings galleries.  Simply go to and install Silverlight if you don’t have it already. What you’ll see is an amazing new visual search experience. Visual Search allows you to quickly scroll through the galleries or do a one-click refinement using the quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through.

At this point, the available major categories are limited, but Visual Search may nicely (and attractively) help young searchers understand the scope of a topic, help them to focus, and to decide among their multiple choices. If this tool grows its categories as I hope it will, it will also provide useful pages to pop into and beautify our pathfinders.

Of course, it has potential for shopping too.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. anna koval says:

    this bing feature does rock! too bad it’s blocked by the school district’s internet filters, for the same reason google images is blocked: CIPA.

    anna koval

  2. I’m glad you shared this new feature. Watching the advertisement/commercial on TV for “Bing” (with the restaurant search) I was skeptical about it. But the images and ease in refining search is wonderful. I really hope it expands quickly. I looked through the Presidents page and narrowed by party and assassination attempts – really fun. A great new tool to engage student interest.

  3. Wow, this is really a great new feature! I usually recommend searchcube to my jr high students when they have to do a project. When they are on searchcube though, it takes them a while to get down to business. They first need time to play around with the cube, and it doesn’t matter how many times they have used it before. Bing’s new visual search is easy to use and very engaging. Just what some of my students need. Not to mention just plain fun.

  4. the filter’s response clarifys that my school is an evil socialist institution that hates any independent thought.

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