I'm seeing a new result format for searches for most island groups (Hawaii, Canary etc). The new format includes a large horizontal bar with image thumbnails linking to the search results for the individual islands.
Pushing the boundaries yet again regarding how much they can use someone else's images and what is fair use.
Also looks to me that these images must have been picked manually by human beings.
glitterball - Thanks for spotting this. It's an interesting grouping concept. The display, though, is actually not a new format. The display is an aspect of the Google Knowledge Graph results.
The black bar with images at the top is called the Knowledge Graph carousel. The carousel appears when Google returns Knowledge Graph results that are about groups of things... eg, [James Bond films]. Thus, it's very appropriate for archipelagos (groups of islands).
Archipelagos may well be new to the Knowledge Graph, as Google is adding new groups all the time.
For more discussion about the carousel and the Knowledge Graph, see this thread...
Google's image selection capabilities have gotten extremely sophisticated, and images are getting classified automatically in much the way that named things are classified in the Knowledge Graph. Google's long been selecting images for News Search and recipe search, and it clearly looks at composition and degree of closeness when choosing thumbnails to display.
I'll leave the fair use discussion to someone else. but I note in checking this out that when I clicked on an image of one of the islands in the carousel, and a large copy of the image appeared in the upper right Knowledge Graph area... when I clicked the images that didn't come from Wikipedia, but which rather came from commercial travel sites, I was taken directly to the site.
So, the use of the image was giving the site a top of page one image link. I don't know what Google's deal might or might not be with these sites... or whether any deal is necessary... but if it were my site and my image, I'd be happy with that trade. YMMV.