Direct annotation: A drag-and-drop strategy for labeling photos

B. Schneiderman and H. Kang. Direct annotation: A drag-and-drop strategy for labeling photos. In IV ’00: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Visualisation, pages 88–96, Washington, DC, USA, 2000. IEEE Computer Society. [PDF]


The basic argument of the authors of this paper is that large pictures collections need annotation in order to support efficient retrieval. However, annotation is a tedious and time-consuming task. The authors present in this paper a basic HCI technique which allows the user to annotate without much typing. Keywords can be inputed once-for-all through a list and becomes available to be dragged and dropped over pictures.

The system has the advantage of supporting labeling of regions of the pictures (see figure below) but has the disadvantage of reduced scalability.

Annotating photos is such a time-consuming, tedious and error-prone data entry task that it discourages most owners of personal photo libraries. By allowing users to drag labels such as personal names from a scrolling list and drop them on a photo, we believe we can make the task faster, easier and more appealing. Since the names are entered in a database, searching for all photos of a friend or family member is dramatically simplified. We describe the user interface design and the database schema to support direct annotation, as implemented in our PhotoFinder prototype.


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