Software for determining image similarity?

This is a lazyweb request – I’m looking for something but I don’t even know if it exists. I have about 200 photos (headshots) and I’d like to make an animation that runs through them in order of, for lack of a better term, visual similarity. I’m not talking about morphing or just fading between the images in arbitrary order. Is there software out there that, given a reference image and a set of images to select from, can choose the most similar image? Open source would be best, as there’s no budget for this, and command-line-only is fine, but I am on a Mac.

Franco.fiorese commented on Sun Sep 17 15:47:10 2006:

Not exactly what you are looking for but, if you do not already know it, try to see at imgSeek (written in Python):

Regards Franco

Paul commented on Sun Sep 17 16:33:42 2006:

That looks great, thanks!

Jamie Stephens commented on Mon Sep 18 01:23:04 2006:

This is only vaguely related. There is a project that does exactly this with geospatial imagery. You give it an image and it will search sattelite imagery from around the globe to find a match. Unfortunately, it is only available to the U.S governement right now. Here’s a demo clip:

Paul commented on Mon Sep 18 02:51:51 2006:

That’s cool, too, thanks.

I had a chance to try out imgSeek – once I installed Qt/Mac – and it’s pretty amazing. The command-line tool is absolutely usable for the purpose I have in mind. Now to find the time…

Brett Spurrier commented :

I wrote a small image similarity library for the iphone. I run it with my iPhone AppStore app called eyeBuy which compares an image against a database of more than 5 million (and growing). So your 200 would be a breeze.

I posted an SDK at: and could compile it into an OSX library is there is interest. Email me at brett dot spurrier at