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April 25, 2009



Actually, the act of mapping the world's photos does help you discover landmarks that are largely unknown. The "Mapping the World's Photos" paper is based on our own work at Yahoo! (see their "Related Work" and the landmark/World Explorer papers here: ). When we did that work, we created a live exploration/visualization demo which is still up and running at . One of my favorite examples of discovery in that interface is the "Yoda" tag that appears when you zoom into San Francisco's Presidio. I did not know about that "landmark" until we had made this new exploration system.

So, yes, these are "discovered" fact but are only known to some. The beauty of this analysis is, like any good visualization tool, bringing this information to the surface. It is the flexibility of seeing information in the right resolution that makes a difference (very details for SF which I know well appear when I zoom in, vs. high level for Berlin where I've never been).

In addition, we suggested using these extracted landmarks when someone is searching for photos from a region; e.g. photos from NYC are really a set of photos of its landmarks. This idea was even part of Yahoo Image Search for a bucket test, I am not sure what the status of it is...

Finally, our "landmark" work focused on getting representative photos for these landmarks, which is an issue also when you know what the landmarks are.


There is an interesting approach for IR systems and a good Knowledge Management Systems' review in this blog. You should check out.

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