An image retrieval
system is a computer system for browsing, searching and retrieving images from a large database
of digital images
. Most traditional and common methods of image retrieval utilize some method of adding metadata
such as captioning
, or descriptions to the images so that retrieval can be performed over the annotation words. Manual image annotation is time-consuming, laborious and expensive; to address this, there has been a large amount of research done on automatic image annotation
. Additionally, the increase in social web applications
and the semantic web
have inspired the development of several web-based image annotation tools.
The first microcomputer-based image database retrieval system was developed at MIT, in the 1980s, by Banireddy Prasad, Amar Gupta, Hoo-min Toong, and Stuart Madnick.
Another method of image retrieval is content-based image retrieval (CBIR), which aims at avoiding the use of textual descriptions and instead retrieves images based on their visual similarity to a user-supplied query image or user-specified image features.
There are evaluation workshops for image retrieval systems aiming to investigate and improve the performance of such systems.
- alipr.com Automatic image tagging and visual image search. Developed with Stanford and Penn State technologies.
- CIRES Image retrieval system developed by the University of Texas at Austin.
- FIRE Image retrieval system developed by the RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
- GIFT GNU Image Finding Tool, originally developed at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
- IEEE CBAIVL Proceedings
- ImageCLEF A benchmark to compare the performance of image retrieval systems.
- imgSeek Open-source desktop photo collection manager and viewer with content-based search and many other features.
- img(Anaktisi) This Web-Solution implements a new family of CBIR descriptors. These descriptors combine in one histogram color and texture information and are suitable for accurately retrieving images.
- Caliph & Emir: Creation and Retrieval of images based on MPEG-7 (GPL).
- img(Rummager): Image retrieval Engine (Freeware Applicaton).