Product Marketing Manager, Lisa Crounse, shared some information regarding Content Search and Visual Search.
Content Search is a new technology initiative at Autodesk that aims to build solutions to facilitate user access to a breadth of rich, high-quality content that is useful in design projects. The first technology to come out of this initiative is the Content Search web service, currently available on Autodesk Labs in its alpha state. Concurrently, Autodesk Labs is also experimenting with projects such as the Visual Search technology preview for potential integration into future solutions.
The Content Search initiative is aligned with Autodesk’s mission to enhance the productivity of designers. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive solution by delivering best-in-class content quality, content coverage, and ease of use. The alpha of the Content Search web service allows designers — architects, engineers, and students — to search and find generic or manufacturer-specific building products or components and associated design content. This content may include 3D models, 2D drawings, specifications, and descriptions for that product or component. We have made this solution available in its alpha stage so that we can gather user feedback at Labs.ContentSearch@autodesk.com as development progresses.
There are a two primary ways to find content using the Content Search alpha service:
- You can search for a product by typing in any keyword (for example, "faucet") associated with the product in the "Search for" field and click "Search."
- You can also browse for products using AEC industry standard classifications, including MasterFormat 2004, Omniclass 1.0, and Uniformat II.
For both techniques you can use filters either prior to running a search or after to refine your search results.
The Content Search alpha web service provides everything from Revit product family files and DWG files to DGN and SKP files to Microsoft Word documents and PDFs. Most individual product listings also contain a photograph or image of the item, accompanied by a short text description. Our approach is an open one, so that we can provide you with the design file or product specification that you need regardless of its format, including non-Autodesk file formats.
The Content Search alpha aggregates content from several external sources as well as the content libraries that are provided with several Autodesk software applications. We are constantly updating the content so be sure to check back on a regular basis. You may notice that this solution is currently targeted at designers working in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry. We are considering extending the service to include content particularly useful for mechanical designers in the future. For more information, see Content Search alpha on the Autodesk Labs web site.
The Visual Search technology preview is a web service that allows designers and engineers to search for parts and components using visual input. We have made this available as a technology preview so that we can gather feedback at Labs.VisualSearch@autodesk.com on how a solution such as this may fit into existing workflows.
To use Visual Search:
- First you need to provide visual input such as a doodle (freehand sketch), 3D model (IPT, STL), 2D drawing (DWG, DXF) and even an image (JPG).
- Next, you click search, and the web service will provide you with results matching your input.
The Visual Search technology preview aggregates content from several external sources as well as the parts libraries that are provided with Inventor software application. There is also community aspect to Visual Search, whereby you create your own personal Visual Space where you can upload your Inventor and AutoCAD files. The files that you upload are immediately indexed and available for search. You may notice that this tool currently references only mechanical design content. We may add content that is useful to the AEC industry in the future.
For more information, see the Visual Search technology preview on the Autodesk Labs web site.
Thanks Lisa. Content Search alpha and Visual Search are new technologies. Visual Search has had mixed success in locating what some customers expect. We welcome your feedback on these topics. Helping designers locate designs via their properties or their shapes is alive in the lab.