Image search engine starts with images in OA articles

Songhua Xu, James McCusker, and Michael Krauthammer, Yale Image Finder (YIF): a new search engine for retrieving biomedical images, Bioinformatics, July 9, 2008.  Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:

Abstract:   Yale Image Finder (YIF) is a publicly accessible search engine featuring a new way of retrieving biomedical images and associated papers based on the text carried inside the images. Image queries can also be issued against the image caption, as well as words in the associated paper abstract and title. A typical search scenario using YIF is as follows: a user provides few search keywords and the most relevant images are returned and presented in the form of thumbnails. Users can click on the image of interest to retrieve the high resolution image. In addition, the search engine will provide two types of related images: those that appear in the same paper, and those from other papers with similar image content. Retrieved images link back to their source papers, allowing users to find related papers starting with an image of interest. Currently, YIF has indexed over 140 000 images from over 34 000 open access biomedical journal papers.

Comment.  The OA connection here is that YIF populated its index by harvesting OA papers at PubMed Central.  It might have been able to index the papers at TA journals.  But it would either have had to pay for access or use prepaid university access and risk running afoul of at least one of the dozens or hundreds of applicable licensing agreements.  This is a good example of how OA can free up users for innovative uses.