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image findability article in FUMSI

Really good stuff in this month’s FUMSI article by Ian Davis:

“Image indexing gets especially tricky, and really parts company from the world of document indexing, with the ‘aboutness’ access to images. By their nature images convey a myriad of messages to any number of people. Few images are not ‘about’ some type of abstract concept and few images users make no use of this important access point to image content”

via FUMSI – Image Findability: Improving through Tags.

I really like the fact that Ian both addresses the genuine challenges in describing ‘aboutness’ but also highlights that this is exactly what the users of image retrieval systems want.

A lot of commentators, mentioning no names,  often present cataloguing and classification as librarians imposing their view of the world on the rest of us, conveniently glossing over both the usual librarian motivation of just wanting to help and the existence of a mass users who want help and not an ontological debate.

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Written by Karen

September 1st, 2009 at 6:42 am