Experts have used satellite imagery to make all kinds of remarkable discoveries on planet Earth, from hidden meteor craters, to unknown pyramids, to forgotten shipwrecks. But now everyone has the opportunity to make their own amazing finds thanks to a new geospatial technology that empowers anyone to easily search for any object across the world.
The GeoVisual Search engine from New Mexico-based startup Descartes Labs allows users to click on any object on the globe. GeoVisual Search then searches the world to find similar items.
For example, clicking on Moffett Airfield in Silicon Valley causes a red box to appear around a group of C-130 Hercules military airplanes parked near a runway. GeoVisual Search then displays similar images culled from global satellite imagery, including a Hercules plane on the tarmac at Pope Air Force Base near Fayetteville North Carolina.
This visual search capability represents a major differentiation from Google Earth, CNET reports. GeoVisual Search locates objects based on the way they look, rather than Google Earth’s text-based queries that lead to geotagged places.
The secret sauce of GeoVisual Search is Descartes Labs’ geospatial platform which applies machine learning technology to detect visual similarities between images and recognizing similar objects located elsewhere.
The company’s technology divides the globe into a grid of tiles. For each tile, Descartes Labs employs a neural network to identify features, including shapes, colors and textures.
When GeoVisual Search receives a query image, the system calculates a “visual distance” between the query features and the features extracted from each image in the comparison set, according to Descartes Labs.
Pratik Dhebri is senior director of product management at Veritone and is truly democratizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) by orchestrating best-of-breed cognitive engines. He works with AI developers and cognitive engine providers to architect and monetize algorithms and applications. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.