From computer-aided design (CAD) drawings of complex engineering parts to digital representations of proteins and complex molecules, an increasing amount of 3D information is making its way onto the Web and into corporate databases.
Because of this, users need ways to store, index, and search this information. Typical Web-searching approaches, such as Google's, can't do this. Even for 2D images, they generally search only the textual parts of a file, noted Greg Notess, editor of the online Search Engine Showdown newsletter.
However, researchers at universities such as Purdue and Princeton have begun developing search engines that can mine catalogs of 3D objects, such as airplane parts, by looking for physical, not textual, attributes. Users formulate a query by using a drawing application to sketch what they are looking for or by selecting a similar object from a catalog of images. The search engine then finds the items they want. The company must make it again, wasting valuable time and money.
3D searching: Advances in computing power combined with interactive modeling software, which lets users create images as queries for searches, have made 3Dsearch technology possible.
The 3D-search system uses algorithms to convert the selected or drawn image-based query into a mathematical model that describes the features of the object being sought. This converts drawings and objects into a form that computers can work with. The search system then compares the mathematical description of the drawn or selected object to those of 3D objects stored in a database, looking for similarities in the described features.
- Computer-aided Design.
- 3D rendering software
- It takes some getting to used to searching this way.
- It can also be a drain on your system resources, and can cause it to go much slower.
- The images are loaded in visual stacks so you can see 10 results, each in their own window, all in a nifty 3D card shuffle.
- The experience is richer visually, so shopping and browsing is not cumbersome anymore.
True 3D search systems offer two principal ways to formulate a query:
- Users can select objects from a catalog of images based on product groupings, such as gears or sofas; or they can utilize a drawing program to create a picture of the object they are looking for.
- Or use an application to let users draw a 2D or 3D representation of the object they want to find.