[Taxacom] Automated species Identification by Image Analysis

Mario Blanco mblanco at flmnh.ufl.edu
Mon Sep 7 02:31:16 CDT 2009

Rich, you can suggest your colleague to look up this paper:

Agarwal, G., Ling, H., Jacobs, D., Shirdhonkar, S., Kress, W.J., 
Russell, R., Bourg, N.A., Belhumer, P., Dixit, N., Feiner, S., Mahajan, 
D., Sunkavalli, K., Ramamoorthi, R. and White, S. 2006. First steps 
toward an electronic field guide for plants. /Taxon/ 55: 597-610.


The system described by the authors is not yet capable of making 
identifications itself, but it can narrow down the possibilities to the 
end user. This system is in its infancy, but given the fast pace of 
development of visual-recognition technologies, I think it is possible 
that in 20-30 years from now there will be automated systems capable of 
making reliable identifications from photo and video images, provided 
that the image shows all the necessary characters for identification. If 
not in 20-30 years, then maybe 40 or 50, but I have no doubt it will 
happen. Visual-recognition technologies are being developed for all 
kinds of applications, so it is just a matter of adapting it to 
recognition of different species. The authors of this paper have 
obviously invested some time and effort into this.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Taxacom] Automated species Identification by Image Analysis
Date: 	Sun, 6 Sep 2009 15:55:32 -1000
From: 	Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
To: 	<TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>

I have been asked by a non-biologist colleague for information on the use of
automated algorithms for species identification from digital images.  I
recall several such projects (one of them was called "DAISY"), and I believe
there was some success with vein patterns in bee wings, and perhaps other
examples as well.  Does anyone have any insights on this, and whether it's
seen a a feasible technology worthy of further investment of time and
effort? How much effort/investment has already gone into it?

Thanks in advance...


Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences
  and Associate Zoologist in Ichthyology
Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org


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