Thursday, October 19, 2006

note pad

Yes, this will remain an open notebook. I'm scribbling: what if pixels were searchable? Metadata for pixels, some how auto-generated, or generated for 1 pixel according to the elements of its neighbors. You won't search for discrete images, but your search will turn up images in which a statistically significant number of pixels meet the criteria. Is this using a hammer to turn a screw, creating far more metadata than we can handle in order to execute jobs that could be done much more simply in another way?

2 comments:

Alex said...

It might be useful for certain industries and professionals like photographers, designers, and artists. However, I doubt most people would have an easy time of describing pixels well enough to get the sort of images they wanted. I remember seeing sites that would let you search flicker by color and it was interesting, but not terribly useful to me. I think pixel searches might be similar.

You also mention the problem of metadata, but that doesn't have to be an issue. I'm thinking of all the old DOS bitmaps I used to create in grade school and we more or less specified the color of every pixel on the screen. My guess is that more modern image formats do something similar. The problem is just decoding the image format in a useful way.

Woody Evans said...

I wonder if this kind of thing could work in some kind of 4-d way -- a way to show changing pixel attributes for massive sets of images over time. more precise but less explanatory than metadata? more precise than user-tags for sure (searching Flickr for "blue"), because the pics themselves, and the pixels themselves, report what they are to the search engine... but then it begs the question of what other quantifiable, singular units of information could be handled in that way... search engines already do this for text -- you can search for a single character or word across billions of documents online, and the most relevant results are returned to you. why not treat picture elements as characters or finite search terms?