P.L. has a great summary of a Slashdot post concerning content based image retrieval (CBIR) and research from Penn St. University.
is the handy acronym for Content based image retrieval. Basically, it
means instead of entering text to find images, you provide or click on
an existing image to find related ones. This ought to be much more
intuitive for certain tasks.
A CBIR research project of Penn State University has now been applied to an aviation images database,
Slashdot reports. Click on “Show me photos”, and then click on “View
similar photos” to get an idea of how well this works. This is not
necessary related to actual image recognition (analyzing a picture to
find out it contains, say, an elephant), but can be implemented using
much more brute force pixel-by-pixel image comparison with some added
mirror and scaling fuzzyness.
I was hoping to share another CBIR demo caled Image-Seek
from LTU Technologies. It allowed you to search and find similar photos
from a collection of Corbis images. However, according to the LTU site it's "temporarily unavailable." Oh well, you can still read about it.
Nevertheless, LTU Technolgies (the company was recently acquired) web site offers lots of interesting reading about content based image search.
Also, LTU presentations from the 2003 and 2004 Search Engine Meeting provide excellent intros to CBIR: