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Retrievr – Search by Sketch

A fascinating, though kind of odd and experimental site, is Retrievr. It lets you do a rudimentary paintbox style sketch on the computer, then tries to match up the sketch to an image from the massive Flickr photo database.

For instance, this sketch:

Produced hits including these:

It would be interesting to know what technology goes into matching this, but otherwise, it’s just one of those interesting things. It did strike me as a possibly useful tool for artists looking for photo references (especially for comics?), but I’d say it needs more refining.

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