Google Image Labeler, a “new feature of Google Image Search, allows you to label random images to help improve the quality of Google’s image search results.” Google Image Labeler addresses one of the biggest problems with social tagging folksonomies—the fact that we might describe a photo with a term that means absolutely nothing to anyone else—in a very creative way.

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© Photo: Scott Abel

Before we consider Google’s solution to tag disparaties, what keywords would you use to tag (describe for later retrieval) the photo above? Your keywords might be quite different than ours, especially if your intent—the reason why you tagged the photo—is also different. Our keywords were “Barney”, “manatee”, “Bradenton”, and “Florida”. What were yours?

Here’s Google’s Image Labeler solution: “You’ll be randomly paired with a partner who’s online and using the feature. Over a 90-second period, you and your partner will be shown the same set of images and asked to provide as many labels as possible to describe each image you see. When your label matches your partner’s label, you’ll earn some points and move on to the next image until time runs out. After time expires, you can explore the images you’ve seen and the websites where those images were found. And we’ll show you the points you’ve earned throughout the session.”

Image Labeler is very smart (and fun!) move on Google’s part and the random nature of matching taggers is a surefire way to prevent tag spammers from polluting the Google Image Search index.

Learn more about the history of the technology behind Google Image Labeler: Read Tech Dirt’s Google Takes On ESP Game, But Needs Some Marketing Help.

Thanks to Davezilla for pointing us to this new Google service.