Semantic positioning system
January 21st, 2008


Recently I posted here about about the growing practice of GPS tagging images allowing them to be organized by their geographical location. Today I came across an entirely different sort of image positioning project at MIT called 80 Million Tiny Images where all of those images are arranged semantically. The tiny spot on the panel of 80 millions that represents the noun “manhole” is shown in the above illustration. The explanation on the project webpage begins:

Visual dictionary
Click on top of the map to visualize the images in that region of the visual dictionary.

We present a visualization of all the nouns in the English language arranged by semantic meaning. Each of the tiles in the mosaic is an arithmetic average of images relating to one of 53,463 nouns. The images for each word were obtained using Google’s Image Search and other engines. A total of 7,527,697 images were used, each tile being the average of 140 images. The average reveals the dominant visual characteristics of each word. For some, the average turns out to be a recognizable image; for others the average is a colored blob.

Via Information Aesthetics

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