At Google, we are constantly researching, designing, and brainstorming about the next big idea, and when we think we've found something compelling, we often use our "20-percent time" to build a working version. Back in 2002, we created Google Labs to give these budding experiments a home where users could try them and share their thoughts with us. Some of our most popular products began this way, including Google Maps, iGoogle, and Google News.

In keeping with our long-standing tradition of bringing new ideas to our users early in the development process, we're proud to welcome two new innovations to Google Labs: Similar Images and Google News Timeline.

Similar Images

Image Search is a tool you can use to find just about any kind of image, but it can sometimes be difficult to find the right image if you can't describe it in words. The new Similar Images feature was developed with just this in mind. Using it you can now find images that look like an existing result simply by clicking on a link. Using visual similarity, you don't have to refine the text of your search, instead, you can just click on the link of an image you like. For example, if you search for [jaguar], you can use the "Similar images" link to quickly narrow your search.

Image Search results will vary for the query [jaguar]:

With one click, we can help you find more pictures of the [cat]:

Or more pictures of the brand of [car]:

You might try exploring the pyramids of Egypt or discovering the Forbidden City. Or you might go shopping for an elegant evening gown or that perfect pair of shoes. So if you see an image you like, but you're stumped on how to describe it, just click the "Similar images" link to see more like it.

Interested in learning more? Check out this video tour.

Google News Timeline

Google News Timeline organizes information chronologically by presenting results from Google News and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline. You can navigate through time by dragging the timeline, setting the time scale to days, weeks, months, years, or decades, or just including a time period in your query (i.e., "1977"). To see this in action, check out the results viewed by month in the summer of 2006.

Google News Timeline can present results from lots of different sources, including both recent and archival news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, and sports scores and media like music and movies. You can view multiple sources simultaneously, allowing each source to lend context to the others. Try out some of our favorite queries like [jack nicholson movies], [barack obama quotes], and [baseball news photos]. To read more, check out our post on the Google News Blog.

Google Labs reloaded

These are just two examples of Google's innovation at play, with plenty more to come. In order to keep up with our engineers, we decided it was time to remodel Google Labs to make room for more — you guessed it — innovation! We started with the foundation: we rebuilt the service from scratch using Google App Engine, and we moved it to a new home at We also redesigned the website to make it easy and fun to discover new experiments as they arrive and to follow them as they evolve. We even added an RSS feed and an iGoogle gadget to make it easier to stay up to date.

When you visit the site, you can also hear from the innovators themselves and share your thoughts, helping us shape your favorite experiments into future Google products. So come early and come often and bring your adventurous spirit — after all, we're building these experimental products and features for you!