Facial Recognition Software Is Helping Identify Unknown Figures in Civil War Photographs

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
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#1
Facial Recognition Software Is Helping Identify Unknown Figures in Civil War Photographs
Already, Civil War Photo Sleuth has generated more than 15,000 successful
By Meilan Solly
smithsonian.com
2 hours ago

A new facial recognition application pioneered by computer scientist and historian Kurt Luther peers into the past—specifically the American Civil War—to identify anonymous portrait sitters captured in thousands of photographs taken over the course of the bloody four-year conflict.

As Erica X. Eisen reports for Slate, Civil War Photo Sleuth (CWPS) is a three-pronged collaboration launched in August by Luther and his Virginia Tech students; editor Ron Coddington of Military Images; and Paul Quigley, director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. The project, as Luther detailed in a 2017 article for Military Images, features a digital photo archive, research tools and a thriving online community.

Users can contribute their own images from personal collections or upload snapshots spotted in books, museums, cultural institutions, shops and miscellaneous sites across the world. These photographs then join thousands held in national and state archives accessible to the public, enabling CWPS to work toward its goal of becoming the world’s largest, most complete digital archive of identified and unidentified Civil War-era portraits.

Full article with pics can be found here - https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...nown-figures-civil-war-photographs-180970863/

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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DaveBrt

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
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Charlotte, NC
#2
Facial Recognition Software Is Helping Identify Unknown Figures in Civil War Photographs
Already, Civil War Photo Sleuth has generated more than 15,000 successful
By Meilan Solly
smithsonian.com
2 hours ago

A new facial recognition application pioneered by computer scientist and historian Kurt Luther peers into the past—specifically the American Civil War—to identify anonymous portrait sitters captured in thousands of photographs taken over the course of the bloody four-year conflict.

As Erica X. Eisen reports for Slate, Civil War Photo Sleuth (CWPS) is a three-pronged collaboration launched in August by Luther and his Virginia Tech students; editor Ron Coddington of Military Images; and Paul Quigley, director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. The project, as Luther detailed in a 2017 article for Military Images, features a digital photo archive, research tools and a thriving online community.

Users can contribute their own images from personal collections or upload snapshots spotted in books, museums, cultural institutions, shops and miscellaneous sites across the world. These photographs then join thousands held in national and state archives accessible to the public, enabling CWPS to work toward its goal of becoming the world’s largest, most complete digital archive of identified and unidentified Civil War-era portraits.

Full article with pics can be found here - https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...nown-figures-civil-war-photographs-180970863/

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
I signed up and asked them to make a filter for Quartermasters. I have about 10 QM photos for them.
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

First Sergeant
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Aug 8, 2011
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1,327
Location
Gettysburg area
#3
Oops! Smithsonian has made a correction in its original count of successfully identified photos:

"Correction, 11/21/18: This story has been edited to reflect the correct number of photographs that Civil War Photo Sleuth has identified."

The story now states that "more than 75" photographs have now been identified using CWPS. The initial reference to 15,000 has been corrected to indicate that is the size of the reference database of identified photographs that is used to help with new identifications.

Yes, that's a huge difference, but with each successful identification, and as CWPS fine-tunes its process, the program's successes can only continue to increase. It's amazing to see how people who might otherwise have been lost to history are now being remembered thanks to technology.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 14, 2012
Messages
17,634
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Central Pennsylvania
#8
Perhaps they can use this tech to tell if the tall bearded hatted fellow in the famous Hanover Junction photos is Lincoln or not...

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/hanover-junction-pa.140927/page-2#post-1708626
185

Cheers,
USS ALASKA

There's a few others you just know someone will apply this to. Don't get me started on the Hanover Junction photos. The problem is, tall, bearded men wearing top hats seem to litter era photos, ever notice that? They're everywhere, like hirsute Where's Waldos. I realize the Hanover series has been researched and the tall guy de-Lincolned but it'll still take something like this to convince me.
 



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