Polar Rose

Polar Rose ScreenshotFor those of you with digital collections, watch for Polar Rose in February. From their website:

Polar Rose makes photos searchable by analyzing their content and recognizing the people in them.

It’s a great idea. The Polar Rose software identifies pictures of people and places a rose on their lapel (or where their lapel should be). At that point, a tooltip appears, letting you know who it might be. The name is based on other photos of this person already named by others. You can agree with the name or provide/choose another. As you identify people in the pictures, these are added to the database kept by Polar Rose. So, the more people you identify, the better the database will be for everyone.

We provide the data and Polar Rose provides the face recognition algorithms. This has definite possibilities for digital libraries!

[from PCMag.com]

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2 responses to “Polar Rose

  1. David Bigwood January 4, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    This also has some privacy implications we should consider. Not so much a problem with older materials, but more recent items present problems. A picture of an anti-war demonstration with everbody tagged by others could cause problems, for example. How do errors get corrected? Can I opt out? What if I’m in the background of another person’s photo. Do I want to be identified? When I put photos on Flickr, I’ve made a decision. Not so when I’ve been captured and don’t even know it on someone’s picture phone. Just some off the top of my head concerns.

  2. Christine Peterson January 5, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    All good points. When I was looking at the functionality of Polar Rose, I was thinking specifically of digital libraries. Within that scope, I think we want people identified. As you said, however, most of that material is older and may not cause the problems you mention.

    How do errors get corrected? From what I read, when the tooltip is displayed, it tells you how many other people identified that person as “John Doe.” You can agree or disagree with that. It also provides other possible matches. My guess is that the right answer will percolate to the top most of the time (the wisdom of crowds again).

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