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The image similarity service supports users who are exploring the content of Europeana and looking for images that share similarities.
The implementation is based on open source technologies. The MPEG-7 descriptors are computed by using the LIRE feature extractors and the approximate similarity search algorithm uses the Melampo library. The core of the retrieval process is represented by the computation of the similarities between the query and result images. This is performed by employing the cosine similarity computed on color and shape features extracted from the original images, namely the MPEG-7 Scalable Color, Color Layout and Edge Histogram descriptors.

AIT Contribution

The search service demonstrated within this paper was developed in the context of the ASSETS project by ISTI-CNR to improve the user experience when exploring Europeana datasets. It is re-used and enhanced within the Europeana Creative project, with the goal of supporting discovery of content suitable for inspiring the creativity of professional designers.
In the context of the Europeana Creative project, ongoing research activities are related to the re-use of cultural heritage content for inspiring creative design. Several categories of cultural heritage objects have been identified for use in this context. The current version of the search algorithm provides good overall retrieval accuracy on the given dataset, but there are certain types of images for which search performance doesn't meet the expectations of professional users.
We aim to integrate the service within the Europeana APIs, making it available for any stakeholders building domain-specific applications.


A set of random images are displayed when opening the first page of the demo

  • The "refresh" button at the bottom of the page may be used to generate a new set of images.
  • The "similar" link placed above each image is used to display images similar to the given one.
  • After performing the search the left and right arrows are displayed allowing the navigation between the result pages
  • Clicking the "Europeana creative logo" on the first page will return to the first page.