Aug 182014
 
Researchers harness big visual data by creating an average image from thousands of photos. (Video by Jun-Yan Zhu, Yong Jae Lee and Alexei Efros, UC Berkeley)

Researchers harness big visual data by creating an average image from thousands of photos. (Video by Jun-Yan Zhu, Yong Jae Lee and Alexei Efros, UC Berkeley)

A photo is worth a thousand words, but what if the image could also represent thousands of other images?

New software developed by UC Berkeley computer scientists seeks to tame the vast amount of visual data in the world by generating a single photo that can represent massive clusters of images. This tool can give users the photographic gist of a kid on Santa’s lap, housecats, or brides and grooms at their weddings. It works by generating an image that literally averages the key features of the other photos.

Users can also give extra weight to specific features to create subcategories and quickly sort the image results. In this way, blue-winged butterflies or orange tabby cats might rise to the top of photo collections.

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