Image Searching at Corbis: Using Language to Access the Visual
At Corbis we are in the business of licensing digital images, which means customers must be able to search for and retrieve images for a wide range of uses. As Catalogers and Vocabulary Managers, we are at the intersection of visual literacy and information literacy: images (the visual) must be described by words (information), or users will not be able to find them. But this can be a tricky accomplishment, given the fact that our brains digest visuals and words quite differently.
People look for specific things, activities, and events in images. They look for feelings and emotions and concepts. And they look for structural and compositional traits, such as color, size, and viewpoint. Our challenge is to develop searching vocabulary that meets all of these needs, and to use that vocabulary to describe images so that people can find the perfect visual solution.
Dyan Chandler, MLIS
Search Vocabulary Supervisor
Diane Constantine Silver, MLIS
Search Metadata Specialist
(please note: this presentation uses sound)