|Weekly News Digest
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Carnegie Mellon University 'Libraries Use Computer Vision to Explore Archival Photo Collection'
Carnegie Mellon University Libraries’ blog, The Information Environment, introduced the Computer-Aided Metadata generation for Photo archives Initiative (CAMPI):
[CAMPI, a]n internal web application built by Libraries faculty and staff leverages computer vision to improve the discoverability of archival photos by allowing archivists to quickly find groups of images depicting similar subjects and add descriptive metadata tags in bulk. …
A MarCom staff member contacted the Archives in June to request … early images of the Computation Center. … While the Archives has a number of photos identified as the Computation Center, the earliest were from the late 1960s.
‘We know, from experience, that our photo collection is not fully inventoried, and there are images with incorrect descriptions,’ said University Archivist Julia Corrin. ‘I was interested in a tool that would let me … see if I could identify any earlier photos of the Computation Center space or find other images that were improperly labeled.’ …
There are so many images tagged with ‘Computers,’ ‘Computing,’ and ‘Students in Lab’ that the archivists do not often have time to sort through the many images with generic tags. They focus on images with more specific labels, such as ‘Computation Center,’ which can mean that other, perhaps better, images are never identified.
CAMPI allows the archivists to do this at scale by using computer vision, a term that refers to software that performs visual tasks with images, such as clustering together similar photographs, assigning photographs to predefined categories, and identifying objects and faces in photographs. …
‘This project suggests new ways for us—and our users—to look at and identify images of interest,’ said Corrin. ‘You no longer need to know exactly what you’re looking for to uncover it—there is more room for exploration.’ …
For now, CAMPI is just a prototype. While the first exploratory project is over, data from the tagging and deduplication work done during this project will be used as the photographs are migrated to a new digital collections system that will make them publicly accessible.
For more information, read the blog post.
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