The annotation GUI

Are current objective is to try to make the photo-plot based phenology work-flow comparable to the current phenology work-flow. To accomplish this we need to streamline the process of making the annotations on the images. We want to reduce, as much as possible, the amount of time it takes to annotate an image. With this in mind I want to list a few characteristics that the new annotation GUI that should go into the final design.

  1. Do we really need a list of images?
    Remove the current file name list. This is not suited for organizing images of different plots taken in different dates. We should give the user control over 3 specific aspects of the visualization:

    1. The plot she is working on. This can be communicated with plot id or we can have a map that contains the locations of the plots.
    2. The date of the image that the user is visualizing. We can have a slider that all the dates where there are pictures. This slider can be something similar to what Gigavision has.
    3. Give the user the options of controlling the date range. Give her the option to define when the date list should start/end. Again, somewhat like Gigavision.
  2. Bookmark Option:
    It’s important for the user to start where she left off. We can create a button named “set bookmark”. It will take text that is placed in a text area (default can be current date/time) and place in the data base.  It will relate the plot id and date where the user was.
  3. How do we keep track of all the changes?
    The idea with this new version is to be able to create the annotations from different clients. We can create a client-server structure where the server will multiplex incoming queries. The client will be responsible of the GUI.  I was playing with the idea of coding it in Java, but there is no reason to not do it in Python or the like.
  4. The annotated elements are constant through time.
    Since what we have is a time series from a plot, we will see the same element as it changes in time. This entails that each element of interest (the flower) should have a name that is maintained through time. This name will be given upon first creation and should be just a number. There will be metadata related to this name: things like species, sex and other user defined metadata.
  5. Filtering:
    There could be lots of annotations in an image. We can implement a filter to make things better. I saw this in Gigavision and think its pretty smart. It should be something that we leave for when the main functionalities are ready. Additionally, when the filter is activated, the annotations in the image should reflect what the user has filtered.
  6. Navigation: How to change plot? How to move forward/backward in time for the same plot?
    To begin we must notice that our problem has one additional dimension compared to Gigavision: We have lots of plots. This point complements #1. We need to be aware of plot ID, date and perspective. Perspective is the different angles that a plot might have in a specific date. Remember that the technician is encouraged to take various pictures of the plot. These will be denominated perspectives.
    For each plot ID/Date pair we will have a list of perspectives. The user can then choose which perspective is best; Choose to discard certain perspectives; Order perspectives according to importance.

I would lie if I said that Gigavision has not been a inspiration for what we are to do. But notice that our product is not going to be an annotation system. Our product is going to be the proof that an annotation system -like Gigavision- has the potential to add value to phenological measurements as we know them :)


About joelgranados

I'm fascinated with how technology and science impact our reality and am drawn to leverage them in order to increase the potential of human activity.
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