Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Facebook makes people tagging a breeze

I was reading the comments on Fred Wislon's blog about how MySpace seemed to be loosing some of it's buzz among teens and how Facebook seemed to be getting stronger so I decided to log into my Facebook account (not many NU alums from '81 hanging out there!) and see what was happening.

What I found was that Facebook users have a lot of pictures and more significantly, that the people in those pictures were all well tagged with their names. I've been on this kick since meeting Greg Elin, of FotoNotes several years ago and here the Facebook developers have provided a really nice and simple interface for tagging people.

Though this does not make a huge difference for me since I don't have a huge group of friends but for the typical Facebook user it is great to be able to identify the people in the pictures you are looking at and then if you are within your school, you can quickly link to their profiles.

I think it is hard to build a new pure social network just around photos, Flickr has that base pretty well covered, but they are a certainly a core service for a more "communications-oriented" social networking service. From what I've seen, many social network service providers should be spending more time on enhancing their photo features. Facebook sure has done a nice job of making tagging easy and that adds a tremendous amount of value to those photos.

Friday, March 03, 2006

New Visual Search Launched

SiliconBeat: Tiltomo: a visual search engine

Tiltomo's Beta is pre-loaded to search over 250,000 images pulled from Flickr to show off their capabilities. Corbis has been using similar technology from LTU Tech to enhance their royalty-free image search though VIMA Tech looks like a formidable player based on their technologists and technical advisors.

As more image-based content is uploaded to the web for distribution/access (estimates are that 5-10 million images are uploaded to various sites per day) this type of technology becomes as important for the screening of porn and other objectionable content as well as identification of copyrighted content as it does for similarity search. These types of technologies work best for searching photo collections when combined with other metadata such as keywords and tags.

StockPhotoTalk has also covered this and includes some links to other visual engines.