The University of Maryland Human Computer Interaction Laboratory
is developing the PhotoFinder prototypes, as part of its research
effort on Personal Photo Libraries. We appreciate the major
support of Intel Corporation and contributions from Microsoft.
Our goal is to develop an understanding of user needs,
appropriate tasks, and innovative designs for consumer users of
digital photos. As digital cameras, scans of existing photos,
PhotoCDs, and photos by email become more common, users will have
to manage hundreds and then thousands of photos. This includes viewing,
exploring, locating, reorganizing, and then using photos of interest.
PhotoFinder 1.0 (February 2000) is our first prototype. It
supports visual browsing for a library containing only 1-10
collections which contain 1-100 photos. If offers a novel
technique known as direct annotation to enable personal names to
be placed on a photo.
PhotoFinder 2.0 is planned for May 2000 and then PhotoFinder
3.0 is planned for September 2000. These will support larger
libraries, offer search capabilities by person, date, location,
and description, allow collection combinations, provide richer
collection thumbnail manipulations, and other features.
The PhotoFinder project is led by Ben Shneiderman, Catherine
Plaisant and Ben Bederson. Graduate students Hyunmo Kang and
Manav Kher produced the Visual Basic software and the User
Manual. Undergraduate student Todd Carlough built the sample data
collections and databases. Support from other HCIL members and
students is greatly appreciated. Please send comments to