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<p>Retrieval by contents of images from pictorial databases can be effectively performed through visual icon-based systems. In these systems, the representation of pictures with 2D strings, which are derived from symbolic projections, provides an efficient and natural way to construct iconic indexes for pictures and is also an ideal representation for the visual query. With this approach, retrieval is reduced to matching two symbolic strings. However, using 2D-string representations, spatial relationships between the objects represented in the image might not be exactly specified. Ambiguities arise for the retrieval of images of 3D scenes. In order to allow the unambiguous description of object spatial relationships, in this paper, following the symbolic projections approach, images are referred to by considering spatial relationships in the 3D imaged scene. A representation language is introduced that expresses positional and directional relationships between objects in three dimensions, still preserving object spatial extensions after projections. Iconic retrieval from pictorial databases with 3D interfaces is discussed and motivated. A system for querying by example with 3D icons, which supports this language, is also presented.</p>
three-dimensional iconic environment; image database querying; pictorial databases; visual icon-based systems; 2D strings; symbolic projections; visual query; object spatial relationships; spatial relationships; object spatial extensions; 3D interfaces; querying by example; 3D icons; graphical user interfaces; query processing; visual databases

P. Nesi, A. Del Bimbo and M. Campanai, "A Three-Dimensional Iconic Environment for Image Database Querying," in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 19, no. , pp. 997-1011, 1993.
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