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

Click Here To View The User Manuals

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