Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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shapeseek

Form-based graphic search engine
 
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Keep seeing an interesting symbol appearing near my office (on car stickers and signs), it may be an Islamic icon or something, but it occurs to me that without text-based ancillary information, I have no idea of finding out what it means. Dunno if I'm handing away the idea that could have made my dotcom fortune here, but what about a search facility that matches the form of graphics and gives you the best match for your input?

It works something like this: take a big, constantly updated (by spider) database of gifs and jpegs from HTML pages - something like what Google's 'image search' uses. Set up a script to resample all these images to common dimensions. Then the user either uploads their 'search image' to the site (where it is resampled to comparable dimensions) or uses a little paint applet in the site to draw what they want to find. The 'search image' is then compared pixel-by-pixel with the image database and links to the source HTML pages returned in order of accuracy.

I believe there are routines available that have some success in recognising/comparing car registration plates, faces and stuff used by police forces and security bodies; I'm asssuming it would be pretty easy to do something similar for bitmaps. If colour involved too much data processing, we could start with grayscales.

Am I crazy? As a designer, I would use it. Should I take the patent out now and go to see my bank manager?

Ventilator, Jan 28 2003

A simple image recognition toolkit. http://www.ee.washi...pe_recognition.html
28 Jan 03 | Discusses some of the shape primitives. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]

Object Detection and Neural Architectures for Visual Selection http://galton.uchic...u/~amit/ya-res.html
Discusses a computational model for visual selection and the use of graphical templates to base recognition upon. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]

imgSeek http://www.imgseek.net/
"The query is expressed either as a rough sketch painted by the user or as another image you supply..." [Monkfish, Oct 04 2004]

Symbols.com http://www.symbols.com/graphicsearch.html
Not automated, but a useful index for hunting down the meaning and history of, say, Windings(TM) characters. [Mharr, Oct 04 2004]

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       Interesting idea. I doubt it would make you a fortune but it would be a useful tool if you could write it. The sheer number of shapes available could be a major problem though. Imagine how many results you'd get back when you searched for something roughly square-shaped.
DrBob, Jan 28 2003
  

       Image semantics recognition. Lots of people working on it, especially the big media asset management folks.
bristolz, Jan 28 2003
  

       Some sort of hasing algorithm; reduce the images to monochrome/greayscale and resize, then hash them and do a nearest-fit. Should work. Good idea. Croissant.
8th of 7, Jan 28 2003
  

       Damn - looks like it's more baked than I expected.
Ventilator, Jan 28 2003
  


 

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