Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tagging Pictures is Bad Hunting

Searching pictures in any search engine is very clumsy and inaccurate. It depends totally on the description of the picture or on its tags (in case it is tagged on a photo sharing on line software like Flickr). The tags (or descriptions) are focused on the interests of the tagger, which don't always match the needs of the other WWW users.

E.g. I'm interested in Stars of David. There are dozens of pictures in Flickr which are tagged Menorah but include Stars of David. There are other items on these pictures which are not retrievable since the only thing that interested the tagger was the Menorah. Let's say that there are ten interesting items on each picture - imagine how much information is lost only because we (WWW users) don't tag properly.

This problem doesn't exist on text search. All the text "items" are retrievable.

I am quite skeptical about finding possible solutions for this problem, but I believe the more we use micro content anthologies the easier it will be to retrieve these "lost sheep". For example, I hope that in my micro content project people will find pictures that deal with Stars of David and were not tagged by the relevant tags in the place where I found them. The same goes for other websites that collect everything there is to know about a certain subject.

2 comments:

Henk Poley said...

I am quite skeptical about finding possible solutions for this problem

Do you know the ESP Game? It's a game that solves this problem by letting people tag photos via a game interface.

http://www.espgame.org/
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8246463980976635143

zeevveez said...

Dear Henk,

Thank you for your contribution - it was surely new to me. Please see my next posting as a comment to your comment.

Bless you!